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Retouch Neo - can

What puzzles me most about neo-conservatives is not the ill defined counter productive attitudes and policies, but that the more neo-conservative politics fails in practice the more popular it becomes in theory, even though I can’t find anywhere what this infamous neo-conservative doctrine actually is other than an enthusiasm for killing Arabs or the right for America to act in its economic interests even if doing so erodes American credibility and economic interests.

For instance, the idea that terrorism is the single greatest threat to western civilization and the world is laughable. And yet, essentially every major statement the head of some government makes has something to do with terrorism.

And indeed, the war on terrorism is an abysmal costly failure in lives and material that has resulted in more terrorism. Yet somehow, this does not mean the neo-conservative idea that war solves problems and America should use it’s military budget to secure American assets and incur american interests. Far from it, the war on terrorism is a failure. Yes, there’s no question about that. Even the power junky neo-conservatives see that now. But rather than abandon the idea that led to the error, the solution is ... more war. And since the neo-cons are such hard and noble realists, resolute and humble in their willingness to trade child labour or the health of Africans for American interests, they with unflinching bias see that problems are quite endemic in war. Hence, the solution to America’s war problems is World War Three. No. No. World War Four.

It’s so brilliant ... and yet so simple. First, spread the bizarre idea that World War Four has already started, ignore the fact that if you look at a globe the Iraq “war†is mostly civil and the whole of Israel-Lebanon is the size of a small grain of rice, identify no follow up plan for accepting this notion (who exactly to attack for instance), join World War Four (the American way), destroy the forces poised to enslave the West, solve all problems.

Now, the traditional definition of a World War is a majority of the great powers on earth slugging it out for world domination. So maybe the neo-cons are onto something. America has certainly gone from undisputed super power to joke through the continued display of incompetence both military (Afghanistan and Iraq) and domestic (Katrina), empty embarrassingly naive rhetoric (everything Bush or Rice says) and the successful abundance of the core conservative belief in the great American debt.

What made America a super power was not military (the world is simply too big for america to control militarily, and any few countries together could easily ignore the will of America), rather it was psychological: people thought America was a super power, so more or less didn’t challenge America, and since no one was challenging America, America was effectively a super power and it was unwise to challenge it. And so in this sense, yes World War Four has already begun.

Unfortunately for American patriots of all nationalities, be them Australian or Canadian or ... Uzbekistani ... World War Four has already ended. The illusion of American hegemony or even influence has evaporated. Does this qualify as a World War? Probably not.

What this means for America and America enthusiasts is that the always original, fact founded and beloved American egoism will seem more and more pathetic as time goes on. What it means for the rest of the world is that we have to actually think about what we’re doing, not just do what America’s doing.

For instance, it is quite obvious that we are fully responsible for our part in the ... I don’t know, maybe ... actual problems the world faces: the exhaustion of arable land and fresh water. Problems caused by miss management and waste (the economically sound and indeed necessary miss management and waste) that will be made a heck of a lot worse by global warming. Or the AIDS epidemic that has killed over 25 million Africans. Or an economic system founded on a finite resource. Or the cancer epidemic, which may or may not have to do with the well over 2000 thousand significant amounts of cancer causing chemicals found in the average person.

Fortunately, until recently we Canadians could just sit back and say, “well, America dictates the world economy, and America’s not doing anything about these things, so for us to try to be reasonable would be most foolish.†And so we didn’t have to actually think about or do anything, which would be a most un-North American thing to do. Almost vulgar in it’s lack of obesity.

Unfortunately, it is quite clear that America can’t stop a rag tag organization with an annual budget at the most totally meaningless in comparison with the resources America has brought to “bare†against it. It would be absurd to think that to dissent from American foreign policy would somehow bring this overwhelming world manipulating force in America’s interests down upon our snowy mantels.

Yet, in spite of the evidence, we still let America dictate our agenda. We still think terrorism is our number one problem (or a problem at all) either because the easy to define terrorists haven’t carried our any attacks on Canadian soil or because (in a loud monotone voice) “America’s our number one trading partner ... daahhhhhhh.â€

Out of habit? Or out of an inability to think without the generous amounts of propaganda the US bestows upon our upward looking child like faces?


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