Crying parents tell their children, If you survive, don't do what we did. ~ The Fixx
I only watched because of my wife. She insisted that the vice presidential debate last October between Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden had potential to be entertaining. Sarah Palin, the woman from nowhere, so green and minor league that she couldn't even handle a puff of an interview with the likes of Katie Couric, was going up against Joseph Biden, a long-tenured grandee of the Senate, a veteran political huckster with a smooth polished to smoother by decades of selling his soul. This could be a televised massacre.
So let's now give Mrs. Palin her due. Despite the nervous twitches, the desperate mental struggles to remember her lines scrolling across her face, and the chirpy cheerleader delivery, she held her own. I went from wondering if a vice presidential candidate had ever been debated to tears, live, to giving her a mental high five for gritting it through.
Not having seen many televised campaign events during my lifetime, I was a bit taken aback, though, as the view kept panning behind the candidates, specifically behind Mrs. Palin. Is that normal? I've seen Hillary on camera countless times over the years and I don't have a clue what her ass looks like; on the contrary Mrs. Palin's was on prominent display.
My wife was right; they put on an entertaining show. No experience is ever completely wasted, and I took away two things from my foray into genuine American agitprop, one of which was this — Sarah Palin has a really nice ass.
Despite such advantage though, Mrs. Palin did not set history as America's first female vice president; she had to settle for the silver as America's first female vice presidential candidate to have a porn movie made specifically with her in mind, the wonderfully titled Nailin' Paylin. Congratulations, Sarah.
I don't know how the Republicans are going to top this for the next go-round, but Politico.com ran a story this last February 30th claiming Karl Rove has been out trawling our great nation's finer strip clubs. From so recently having no interest at all in American politics, I'm already looking forward to 2016.
Best Friends Forever
You guys are my best friends, through thick and thin, Best friends are we!!!! ~ Cartman, on South Park
There was one other thing, as I said, that grabbed my attention. It was the only time during the entire debate when either Biden and Palin seemed legitimately perky, it made a rouge of color came to Biden's waxy dead cheeks and Palin get to shaking her pom-poms all frantic: when the subject over who was a better, more ardent defender of Israel was breached.
Living in the Age of AIPAC, both candidates showed an extreme concern that their deeply felt, unequivocal support of Israel be plain for all to see, and their groveling brought to my mind the Federalist Papers No. 75, the one where Alexander Hamilton warns of the "ambitious man (who) might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents." Their attitude towards Israel is par for the course in American politics; everyone from Obama to McCain to Hillary crawls through the doggie doors of AIPAC, barking loyalty.
Yet, democracy being what it is, such behavior is only possible because the American people have always had a heavy-breathed ache for Israel since the moment of her creation. As Walter Russell Mead pointed out in Foreign Affairs magazine last summer, America's crush for Israel has been our most deeply held, popular foreign policy stance since 1947, the year she was created on a slice of Middle Eastern land given her by the kind generosity of the United Nations.
To help argue for the United States government to recognize the existence of Israel Clark Clifford (the White House chief counsel) quoted President Truman a religious passage from the Book of Deuteronomy — and how could Harry disagree with God? Birthed from religious text, American foreign policy in the Middle East has imported to our shores the virulent madness created from two thousand years of endless fighting, all to see who gets to claim lordship over a pile of holy rocks.
Our exposure to the Holy Land has been sixty years too long; we've gone mentally toxic from breathing its religious fanaticisms, and now massacres and midnight raids and torture chambers occupy our time. America has gone insane, at least temporarily.
So to all the people around the world, many my lunatic fellow countrymen may have crushed, shredded, or stacked into pyramids, I ask that you forgive us, for we know not what we do. I have lived forty years and see we are intellectually spent, utterly mindless, our rational thought dulled by the endless war any empire requires, particularly one that concentrates on the Holy Land.
We are punch-drunk and staggered from all the fighting and now most of our blows, like the Patriot Act, land on ourselves. With each crisis we tighten down on our own chains, yet of all the sad results so far, the lost lives, liberties, and skyscrapers, America will one day be best remembered for her singular, all-time greatest foreign policy blunder — she let Israel get The Bomb.
The Samson Option
Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived. ~ Judges 16:30
You could say that dismal men are on the ascendant in Israel, with the militant Likud Party oozing into power alongside the racist Israel Our Home Party. But bad men combined with nukes, in and of themselves, present no mortal threat to the whole international community. Stalin had the bomb, Mao too; we lived.
Years ago Seymour Hersh published an article, "The Samson Option," detailing Israel's plan to turn all the Middle East into a radioactive dustbowl if her existence was ever threatened. Yet, this doesn't really mean anything. I'm sure every nuclear power has its "Doomsday Plan," getting to write one is part of the fun that comes from buying an ICBM.
Nobody knows for sure what any politician with their finger on the button will decide when it comes to it, but what's for certain is that at some point in the future, like it or not, with a nuclear armed Israel the whole world is going to find out.
Israel has two distinct long-term disadvantages to her survival that all other nuclear powers thankfully lack — horrid demographics and a torrid, passionate subsidized relationship with a sugar daddy, in this case America. This puts the entire international community under mortal threat.
Annually lavished with billions in direct and indirect US taxpayer subsidies and explicitly protected by America's immense military, Israel, like all subsidized entities, is not running on a self-sustainable basis. While the IDF is a world class military, Israel punches far above her weight not due to any inherit strength, but at the pleasure and willingness of the American taxpayer to keep her on the gravy train. That's a shaky foundation to build nuclear platforms upon, because the day will inevitably come when America, through either lack of ability or inclination, no longer glares protectively over Israel's shoulder or stuffs her purse full of diamonds.
There is safety in numbers, especially in the endless bar brawl that we call the Holy Land, and the numbers are dead set against Israel. She exists as a small dab of Jewish dropped into an ocean of Muslim and, to make things even more hopeless, with a birthrate that can't match her neighbors. Population experts predict that at present rates Jews will be a minority within Israel itself this half century.
In the end, it is demographics, the weight of bodies, which decide who rules, and the IDF will inevitably run out of what is every army's most valuable resource — fighting men. And knowing that US soldiers will not be filling the gap, the Muslim world will see the chance they've been waiting for since 1947.
When Muslim armies are driving hard towards a Tel Aviv bursting with terrified refugees mingled among the retreated, shattered remnants of a defeated IDF, the Jewish Israelis will do what a people consumed by fear have always done — they will turn for leadership to the demagogues among them, the raving madmen with the greatest dose of ruthless charisma, and the ones who promise redemption, in this life or the next, will end up on top.
And they will make men such as Netanyahu (the top boss of Likud) and Avigdor Lieberman (ditto for Israel our Home) look like Gandhi in comparison.
When those Muslim armies arrive with a hateful vengeance to announce Israel's end game, what will those madmen do with all those nuclear weapons lying about? Come to think, what would men such as Netanyahu and Lieberman do? How much of a deterrent is the threat of nuclear martyrdom to a Muslim army? For all the shouting about how the bomb must be kept out of Iran, we'd be better off to concentrate on getting it out of Israel.
Lord Keynes was correct about the long run — death comes to us all without exception; even your child that you kiss to sleep is on a timer. Sometimes you go gently in your bed and sometimes you go fast, hard, and with lots of other people, all together screaming in big bloody bunches. All you can do is hope for the former and pray.
And I pray that when the inevitable arrives, when Israel's timer hits zero, that I, along with everyone I love, am already safely and comfortably coffined.
And I wish the same for you, reader.
April 6, 2009