The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Got chaos? Get used to it

Another week has gone by and things are heating up. Not just the weather either, though that is certainly warming up down here in Paradise. I am talking geo-politics. Which I seem to be able to do without a university degree. One of the joys of being a human... we can talk without formal knowledge about anything all. A friend of mine (I think he's a friend) says "Ask Douglas... he knows everything!" He says that a little too often and I detect more than a tinge of sarcasm in his delivery.

Anyway, ignoring that guy and plunging ahead, the Middle East is still in turmoil. We don't really mean Middle East, though, do we? We mean Muslim countries in and around that region. Egypt is still sorting itself out, Yemen is in crisis mode, Bahrain has called in troops from Saudi Arabia, Syria is shooting its own people, and then there's Libya.

Do we belong in the skies over Libya? Should Br'er Rabbit have picked up the Tar Baby? I don't see the long term, or even the short term, benefits of this thing. I hear and read people calling this a "war" but I disagree. It doesn't even amount to the NATO actions over Kosovo though there are some similarities. Except there was plenty of reasons (propaganda) given for the Kosovo intervention that made just a little more sense than the ones given for Libya. If taking military action with Libya is justified by Qaddafi's slaughtering his own people, why wasn't that sufficient for invading Iraq? Not to mention staying in Afghanistan until the Taliban is impotent.

The No Fly Zone strategy will likely fail.
Qaddafi [Duck] is not exactly sane but he's not as stupid as some folks seem to think. He knows no one in this coalition is going to send in ground troops (that's been announced) and that the world will tire of this in time so all he has to do is hunker down and hold out. I would guess he thinks he can do that.

But let's get back to these "democratic" uprisings in the region. I worry about them. Mostly because I don't think the outcomes will be all that democratic. I think these uprisings will be used by the best organized political groups and those are not really interested in establishing "one man-one vote" societies. These groups are interested in seizing power and become the ruling tyrants. Some of this is being backed by Iran (Shi'a), I think. Mostly in Yemen and Bahrain. Some of it seems Sunni instigated and possibly Saudi financed at some level.

The only good I see in any of this is that it shows an escalation of the struggle between Sunni and Shi'a and I don't mind if these two are at each other's throats. The worst possible thing for the non-Muslims of the world would be for these two sects to join forces. In the long term it would be bad for everyone.

Being atheist, I would be among the first to be offered the choice of conversion to Islam or death. I'd much rather live in a society (and world) dominated by Christians. They seem to have evolved out of their Inquisition days and become a bit more tolerant. Islam is still in that mindset, I think, and that makes that religion a bit more scary.

Yeah, it's all about me.


TheLogistician said...

Some part of the world has always been in chaos at any point in time in history. Many historians note that life expectancies in virtually every country have increased for numerous reasons. They also cite that violence and death were common occurrences at earlier points in our history.

The difference now? Readily available information through technology.

Douglas4517 said...

So... you don't see anything even slightly momentous in the demonstrations,
uprisings, and reactions from the petty dictators in and around the Middle
East? Well, except for the fascinating advance in technology which allows
us to view it as it happens?

Yes, there have been numerous times in history when chaos erupted in various
regions. I can certainly agree with that. There have also been those pesky
aftermaths of those events. Not all of them bad, mind you, but enough. And
we never know what you're going to get.

Douglas4517 said...

Found something else...

I am, apparently, not alone with my unease.


Sightings said...

The underlying reason for all these incursions into the Mideast is our government's belief that it has to protect America's oil supplies. And the govt, is right -- without Mideast oil our economy would fall to its knees very quickly. Like 1973-4 and 1979-80. Only worse.

We'll be drawn into one Mideast conflict after another as long as we're addicted to foreign oil. Which is why I say, bring on the electric cars, bring on the high-speed trains, convert to natural gas -- all to get us off the "sauce."

Douglas4517 said...

You are correct that oil (mostly the access to it) is at the heart of our
Middle East policies. Not just for us but for most of Europe as well.

I am an aficionado of pre- and World War II era. We waged that war using our
own oil supplies and also provided most of the oil to our European allies.
We have quite a bit of oil still but the price, even today, does not yet
justify the cost of development. And then there's the environmental issues
and resistance.

I have no problem with electric cars but we do not yet have the
infrastructure to support them and, of course, you still have to generate
the electricity to charge them. And then there's that issue with the
disposal/reclamation of the batteries. I sometimes wonder if people do not
fully understand all the consequences involved.