Monday, December 19, 2011

Peace Time?

Wrapping up 2011, the family can notch a few milestones. Naturally, this also depends on how broadly the term "family" is used, inclusively or excluding certain members. I already mentioned Zach's success in the esoteric art of Ferrari upkeep. Two daughters, Marla and Leah, got immediate employment following their training: Marla in nursing and Leah in dental technology. No babies or marriages this year, but an engagement for an early 2012 wedding for daughter Anna popped up, and our oldest grandchild, Sally, reached the milestone of adolescence. Woo Hoo!

And we couldn't top this year for nature sightings. Besides the whale that did us the favor of moving on fresh water up the Klamath River before dying, this last week we spotted two decent-sized black bear cubs about a half block from home. We were in our sturdy old Buick at the time, so we didn't panic, but we did make sure the garage doors were closed before opening the car doors.

And, not to change subjects too radically, but it was also a big year for Herman Cain. True, he ended the year gone from the list of GOP presidential candidates, but he told Barbara Walters on TV last week that he has a new challenge in his sights. You could see her head almost explode when he said he now wants to be ....the Secretary of Defense! I can just hear him explaining how assembling an aircraft carrier is really no different from putting together a (rather complex) pizza. And his self-proclaimed ignorance of other countries and their leaders? No problem. He'll just sit down with one of those generals he's always talking about in order to get caught up. It could take, oh, an hour or two.

Don't wait for a parade to come through your neighborhood, but we scratched one war front off the list last week. We're finally through in Iraq except for a few mercenaries willing to provide hired gun services for Iraqi bigshots. The locals say they'll handle the rest of the job from here, and what can we do but wish them the best?
Iraq isn't going to become an Islamic Sweden anytime soon, but its people are sophisticated, there's plenty of oil left, and maybe the bad guys will be too worn out from the last war to start the next one for awhile. Explosions, both deliberate and accidental, won't stop, but it's probably now illegal to even say "nuclear weapon". But peace, as we know, carries no guarantees.
In fact, one surprising thing about the new peace is that it's so poorly regarded by those who started the war in the first place, neocon Republicans. None of them are very sold on peace at all, and so naturally have nothing nice to say about president Obama, even though the troop withdrawl coincides exactly with Bush's plan for wrapping things up. To hear the GOP presidential candidates, taking troops out is almost proof that Obama is taking his orders from a klatch of mullahs. Forget the polls, they say. Eight plus years just isn't long enough! The names "Bush" and "Cheney" have disappeared from all public utterances, but they've become used to at least two war fronts going at all times. More importantly, so have those big "job creators", the defense contractors.


Blogger Matt said...

So I am currently at the foreign service institute brushing up on my mandarin before heading out to Beijing, and in the parking lot was a giant truck with a Cain 2012 sticker on the back. I couldn't help but shake my head that anyone that had business in this building would consider voting for Mr. Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan-stan man. What is wrong with some people? I do not understand the common call that people want their president to be just like them. I want my president to be the smartest most charming and persuasive person out there not the idiot that lives next to me that can't keep his car in his parking spot. That guy is a moron and not the face I want for America... come to think of it he does look a little like Gingrich.

8:16 AM  

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