Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Middle East isn’t the only place where the world is sinking into conflict

You already knew that. But there is something more:

No one really knows how to force the world to become a peaceful place. In the United States, for example, we have been in a state of war over 70% of the time we’ve existed. And we have no idea how to end it.

We’ve entered wars to save our allies, to defeat our enemies, and more often than not, these wars resolved nothing. Except for feeding the weapons development corporations, that is.

The Middle East is just a good example of what we’ve failed to do, despite our good intentions. Almost every time we’ve tried to do something positive there, the results have been disastrous. As Dick Cheney stated about Iraq, “We’ll be welcomed as liberators.” And this leads to how we deceive ourselves into believing we could be the heroes: Our intelligence services are so terrible, we simply can’t rely on them to provide us with the truth. Remember “weapons of mass destruction”? Our choice is to give the intelligence services even more budget, even more power, and hope that the 1.4 million people in the USA with security clearances in the over 1,200 organizations that spy will do something different. Or, we can stop relying on them to drive our global policy decisions. Either choice is sub-optimal. There must be a better way.

It’s time our country, and every country, thought a bit about what we’re letting the world become. Is this what we want? Where should we be spending our cash? What causes should we promote? Is there a better way to keep murderers and criminals from running countries?

I have no answers. But it’s about time we started asking the questions. If we don’t things will probably get worse, and not just in the Middle East. It’s looking a lot like it did just before the start of World War I.

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