Sunday, June 15, 2014


Someday, we have to realize that human society has changed; like landscape amnesia, once we recognize the change we stand in wonder of why we did not recognize it sooner. Therefore, the undeniable and sweeping truth revealed in Friedman’s 2005 book, The World Is Flat, shocked people; technology has changed everything. Everyone had opinions but no one seemed to dismiss the basic logic of his argument. What was more startling was that no one seemed to have any idea of how to respond or even put his theory into day-to-day perspective over all cultural endeavors including the blatant negativity that we call war. His well-documented and systematic approach to our historical and geographical journey through time was economically and business oriented and not from a general cultural perspective.

Friedman treated the changes in technology in glowing terms of enhancing human collaboration but almost as an aside, he also expressed concern that terrorist networks could slow the flattening of the world. I do not think he fully appreciated the change technology represented in terms of the evolving changes in relationships between sovereign nations. The realpolitik of Henry Kissinger had died. General Patten standing in a tank turret was long outdated—Gen. Eisenhower and Adm. Hulsey supported by a massive Pentagon, with their massive armies and fleets under their “heroic leadership”, gloriously battling equal foes were essentially disappearing—however, there are still a few isolated and lingering exceptions.

Part of the “flat world” created by technology in “warfare” is the shift from massive million man armies to small clandestine, radical groups in isolated regions. Lethal weapons include such bizarre things as internet recipes for making lethal explosives in your kitchen to air missiles held by one person to his shoulder for sale on the international market or to how to make nuclear bombs. Governments counter by developing drones, explosive detectors, supersensitive radars, and x-ray to screen everyone who boards an airplane.

In the “good old days”, legislative bodies could debate and decide to negotiate after diplomatic efforts failed, an attack could be methodically organized that is fund and prepare an army to defend against a massive army. Our turtle like governments had time to organize a military draft to involve the nation’s people in a war. Everyone now knows that the congress of the United States congress cannot decide anything in less than years; even in emergencies, it takes months. The point is that it takes a long time to prepare a massive invasion; amass an army or navy, fund and activate a war industry, and prepare the people to support a war or otherwise defend themselves in contrast a terrorist can operate without warning.

We have played around with laws and treaty negotiations to correct this situation to mount a sudden attack but not with success. The “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” falls into that category. The 60-word resolution put together during a meeting;

“That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

People are unhappy with the resolution, as they should be. However, all it really does was to allow the President of the United States to do what the Constitution authorized him as Commander in Chief to do. After the shock of 9/11 passed, Congress chose to call any aggressive military act as “an act of war”, which any president could only carried out after Congress declared war on a sovereign enemy; however, there is never a sovereign enemy in terror. Bush and Cheney needed a sovereign state to attack so they use a convenient neighborhood villain and attacked Iraq under the resolution. Advisors and the military industrial complex, religious interests, and multinational oil companies urged them on. Everything that could go wrong with that war went wrong; the American people became distrustful of the president and obviously did not want him to have war powers to start full-fledged wars as he had done.  

A drone attack was not “an invasion” nor was it an attack on a sovereign state it is not a full-fledged war. Most countries do not see drone attacks on individual terrorists as attacks of war. Most people see them as effective, although some chose to see them as violating human rights and demanded that the government bring terrorist to trial to prove they were terrorists—obviously impossible.

Of course, collateral damage, especially unintended deaths, were despicable but nothing compared to an act of war. Worst of all, the people did not trust the Republican president who clearly lied. When the people elected Democrat Obama, it was suddenly pay back time; if the American people hated Bush, the Republicans had to create hate for Obama anyway they could, which is where we are today. The resolution is not that bad but the Bush legacy is that we can never trust president again. The “expanding” tragedy is that we cannot trust congress either—they are bought and paid for by Koch brothers and other plutocrats due to a corrupt Supreme Court; the ultimate sellout to the military industrial complex: war for profit. We THE PEOPLE must debate this resolution in depth. 

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