Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Suppose they Gave a War.....

If someone wanted proof that American culture sits atop the world with no real challenge, there was a moment at the recently concluded U.S.Open Tennis Tournament that was pretty revealing. The broadcast team put in place by ESPN were talking casually with Victoria Azarenka, the top Russian player, about her life. She surprised me by gushing about her latest American discovery - vintage Motown soul music. Marvin Gay, Stevie Wonder and  Smoky Robinson were mentioned along with some others. The entire conversation was in English. Could we ever conceive that the Williams Sisters could travel to Moscow and rave about the music of Russian composers - in Russian? I'd say that's impossible.

I was an Iowan for a long time - more than half my life, and still have great respect for the folks of the Hawkeye State. But that doesn't mean they can't do something crazy along the way.
No, it seems the Iowa Legislature, in an effort during the Culver (Democratic) administration, made an effort to make guns easier to obtain legally. This was also, by no surprise, the wish of the NRA, who don't like to see citizens anywhere be gun-deprived. The legislature was so anxious to spread the wealth of firepower around the state that they even removed the ability to see as a requirement to buy or own a gun! I guess it goes without saying that being a deep thinker is also not a  requirement.

Last week, I gave my opinion against attacking Syria. As things stand this moment, there may not be an attack after all, though it's not clear to me who all should get credit for what has happened, evidently in just the past few days.
Secretary of State John Kerry, answering a question from the press (Is there anything that could cause us to change our plans regarding the attack on Syria?) replied that Syria could avoid this little dose of Shock and Awe by collecting all their chemical weapons and turning them over to an international organization. Kerry was quick to add that he didn't expect this to happen.
I don't know if Kerry expected it, but the Russians, long close to Syria, raised their diplomatic hand and said they could (and would) jump in and make the US wish come true. Syria, for their part, raised no real objection other than to lamely claim that they have no such weapons.
The President is giving a speech tonight on the entire matter, and will no doubt keep a firm line on attacking, but might give an inch or two in return for Russian/Syrian cooperation in taking the poisons off the battlefield.
This isn't a perfect solution. The war continues, and Syria may retain the ability to make (or buy) new stuff to replace whatever they might give up. Still, taken altogether this looks like a winner if it works. No more gas on the field killing civilians. No US attack, which both sides would prefer, thus no need to defy Congress by running over their collective "no" vote against attacking. And, from a political standpoint, all the Right can do is give unneeded advice about "carefully watching" the guy they were praising just last week in an attempt to show they would never say anything nice about Obama. That would be everyone's favorite stone killer, Mr. Putin.   



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