Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Inmates are Running the Asylum...and Won't Stop Watching John Wayne Movies

As most people who know me know, I am from Vermont. Vermont is the home of the truest maple syrup, dozens of ski resorts, people so left on the political spectrum that California looks like a communist state (they have a Socialist in Congress), Ben & Jerry's ice cream (Karmel Sutra lovers represent!), and the Green Mountain Boys – a militia formed by Ethan Allen (no, not the furniture store) during 1760s and were instrumental in several Revolutionary War battles.

A stain on the Green Mountain Boys was left by one of it's members during the Revolutionary War, a little known person who went by the name of Benedict Arnold. Arnold became upset that he was continuously being passed over for promotion and failed to receive recognition for some of his accomplishments, and eventually defected to the British side during the war – making his name synonymous with back stabbing, treason, and turncoats.

Arnold was also possibly one of the earliest shapers of American foreign policy – by doing what he is notorious for – being a turncoat.

You don't even have to look that hard to find evidence of this. Just during the last 25 years the United States has helped countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Libya in assorted and sordid ways (the reason we suspected Iraq had WMDs, was because WE SOLD THEM TO THEM in the 80's).

During the 80's my father was in the Navy. He was deployed to go sit off the coast of a fairly insignificant nation in the Mediterranean Sea because some crackpot allowed his ego to get in the way of reason and drew a “Line Of Death” in the water (if you think drawing a line in the sand is stupid, water is even more so). The leader of Libya (who has so many spellings of both his first and last name that I just refer to him as Ted now), was a known supporter of terrorism before terrorism was the big buzzword it is now, and was harboring the individual that was responsible for the bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The whole event over the completely arbitrary line was actually fairly laughable, and the whole thing was over before it began. We didn't force Ted from power; we did however do what has become a specialty of the U.S., we bombed Libya back to the stone age...setting it back about 3 days. Then we decided to leave Ted alone. We knew where the nut was, and we were content to assume that Ted was just a mental patient and Libya was his padded room.

After a few years, a bizarre thing happened with Ted. Ted became a buddy to the U.S....WHAT?

Ted apparently responded well to therapy (sanctions), and orchestrated the handover of the bomber, paid some reparations for the bombing, and all was well again...NOT!

After the Egyptian uprising earlier this year, many Libyans also decided that they were exhausted of their autocratic ruler who had begun palming his meds and avoiding his therapy sessions. The U.S. (who has had a serious problem thinking that it is the cavalry in a John Wayne movie) decided to step in and put the smack down on Ted again.

Libya is just the latest in the growing list of examples of America doing what it sees as one of its greatest villains in its brief history did. Friend today, foe tomorrow. Britain, Germany, Japan: if I was you, I'd be very careful. Sure we have been buddy-buddy lately, but we have kicked your ass before – and we are always looking for a fight...and we think Ted is erratic.  

1 comment:

  1. So incredibly right that I cannot sufficiently put it into words. The USA is worse than a junior high school clique when it comes to friendship: One day you're wearing the right clothes and saying the cool things and the next day you're a pariah.

    Ted--I love it! Ted. Ted. Ted. You're right, that's much easier.