Saturday, August 4, 2007

This being the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love, I've noticed a lot of newspaper and magazine articles extolling the virtues of the mid-60s and, to be fair, a few that have actually questioned them.

I imagine this is due to a couple of factors. One would be that most editors of larger dailies and magazines are in their 50s and were teenagers during the heyday of that chaotic time. The second is that baby boomers are by far the most self-absorbed generation that has ever walked on planet Earth and the mid-1960s was the time when they were coming into their own. Those who can remember anything about those days, I'm sure, remember how they were busy changing the world.

Being born in 1965, the first post-baby boom year, means I basically missed out on the 60s. Instead of LSD, free love and the most creative period of rock and roll, I got the AIDS scare, disco and Reagan's War on Drugs. My memories of the 60s are largely restricted to the moon landing and watching teenagers smoke pot (though I didn't know that that was what it was) on front porch of our New Jersey home because my parents were nice enough to let them stand there if it was raining while waiting for their school bus.

I'm not really bitter about missing out. I grew up with the music and, despite Reagan, managed to indulge most of my curiousities about drugs when I was a teen. Could have used some of that free love but AIDS wasn't the 60s fault...

What I don't like about the 60s legacy is the ongoing concept that the protest and social change movements of the day are applicable today. If anything the opposite is true: the leftover hippies and those they have influenced have become the far-left and the far-left quashes free speech and supports horrible political systems around the world. They do this because they have somehow arrived at the incredibly misguided conclusion that their lives are more sacred than everyone else's lives and that appeasement, no matter how grotesque, is better suited to dealing with problems than ever using our armaments in anger.

Much of the media is a major supporter of this approach, going out of its way, for instance, to trumpet loudly every lost life while almost never publicizing the good that is coming out of efforts in places like Afghanistan or that could come out of Iraq if the US were allowed to deal with the terrorist elements and their supporters properly. The other places where the leftist culture of the 60s flourish include our universities which, perhaps more than any other single institution, has allowed the dippy part of hippie to take centre stage, churning out generations of far-left mush heads who didn't even need acid to get that way.

Forty years on, the world is a much changed place. Most of those people have probably given up smoking pot and sleeping around. A few may even have traded in their Bob Dylan albums for, well, Bob Dylan CDs. But, unfortunately, the political hangover continues and it's strangling our growth in horrible ways. It is time we buried the 60s alongside Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Surreal Days of Summer

It's actually way too nice here to sit at a computer blogging which explains why I haven't bothered much lately. But, a couple of items in the past couple of days have caught my attention. And, no, I'm not talking about the Simpsons Movie which was absolutely wonderful; these things are far more surreal than anything Matt Groening and company could have dreamed up.

The first is the announcement this morning that the UN has finally agreed to send 19,000 troops to the Sudan in an effort to stop the murderous arab janjaweed from their genocide on the innocent black Sudanese populace.

The surreal part is: those 19,000 troops will only have a limited role in combat operations and that they will only go if the Sudanese government lives up to its agreement to have them there.

Inasmuch as the Sudanese government is sponsoring the janjaweed and their slaughter, the chance of Khartoum all of a sudden thinking this is a good idea is about as great as Al Gore all of a sudden admitting the polar ice caps aren't melting and the world is cooling off. It ain't gonna happen.

Anyone with half a brain - thereby excluding anyone connected to the UN - knows the only reason the Sudanese government made their so-called "agreement" in the first place was to stall further sanctions and isolation.

What's needed in Sudan is armed intervention with a strict mandate of killing the janjaweed and restoring order. And, if the government falls at the same time, well, one less islamoshithead government on planet Earth would also be good.

But, then, that's not going to happen either, because the West is too busy gazing at its navel to actually intervene and save innocent lives.

The second - even more surreal occurrence - was the US administration's announcement that they're going to beef up arms supplies to Middle East nations Egypt and Saudi Arabia by billions of dollars.

According to Condolleezza Rice, who must ponder which face to wear each day, this will help battle extremism in the ME. Uh, Ms Rice...the Saudis are the main sponsor of extreme Islam around the globe. Sure, they may not announce it loudly as the madmorons of Iran do, but there is simply zero question that radical Islam flourishes because the Saudi wahabbist movement pours money into making it so.

Much more likely is that the Bushies are sending more money to Saudi Arabia because the Saudis have a lot of money invested in the US, the Bushies have always been far too buddy/buddy with the Saudis and they don't want the House of Saud to fall. Unfortunately, George and company are ignoring history yet again. It has long been proven that propping up dictatorships only hurts freedom in the end.

As for Egypt: the US has been giving the Egyptians money for years. And, the US gain from that has been that the Egyptians use the money to foment anti-US sentiment and to crush independent thought in their own country. Yes, that includes radical Islam but it also includes those who promote democracy and human rights.

The Bush White House has completely lost the thread. The best solution at this point - especially with the Sunnis pulling out of Iraq's government - is now: a) to announce that they have done everything they can in Iraq and that the Iraqis have only themselves to blame for the continued violence, b) to announce that they will begin immediately to remove troops from Iraq, c) that the arabs can now solve their own problems, d) to support the only relatively peaceful arabs, the Kurds and a few Gulf States like Dubai and Qatar, and negotiate some kind of solution with Turkey, e) to not send weapons to any arab nation except for Iran and when it sends weapons there, it should be by aggressively dropping them from airplanes and f) giving Israel carte blanche to deal with hostile arabs as it sees fit.

It's about freedom and the future and the vast majority of the arab world is not part of either at this moment in time and probably never will be.