Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Return of Comrade Kevin

A combination of health issues and malfunctioning internet momentarily sent me to the sidelines.

However, I am back and have every intention of blogging once a day like usual.

Today, as you're aware, is the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I've taken the time to reflect upon how far I've come in six years, to say nothing of how far in this country we've come regarding preparedness. I wish I could say that I'm firmly convinced that we're a safer nation because of the attacks, but I admit to being skeptical.

I on occasion will read The Futurist magazine and I'm reminded of how scarily accurate some of the predictions set forth over the years have come true. The periodical predicted a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil some ten years ago. It proclaimed that we had entered a forty-year period of terrorism that would continue unabated until it had run its course. That in itself is not that unusual, nor thought-provoking. The fallout from the attack I find to be much more pertinent.

What concerns me more than a little is the viewpoint on the right which states that we're in a struggle for the future of the Civilized World. This end times philosophy reads like something out of the book of Revelations. My fear is that the leaders of Western Democracy will take the opportunity to fulfill this doom-laden prophecy which predicts the end of the world. I remember after 11 September, this was certainly a prevailing viewpoint among many. Would our nations leaders make that awful scenario come true in a desire to fulfill Biblical prophecy?

The retaliation if we are attacked here again I fear may result in the detonation of nuclear weapons. It certainly is a tempting response--to reduce the Middle East to little more than a gaping, smoky hole in the ground. Aside from the ethics and morality involved in such an endeavor, I wonder if we would not create a much greater problem. Certainly an undertaking so severe would disrupt, to say nothing of destroy the crude oil supplies the rest of the world depends upon. I worry that we would end up creating more enemies, particularly the Russians and Chinese, who have become our economic rivals and dubious allies.

Would a nuclear attack end up bankrupting the world's economy? I remind you that we are the most powerful, most wealthy country in the world and that upon our economic success or failure rests the future of the rest of the world. We increasingly find ourselves beholden to playing the "what if?" game with no satisfactory conclusions. Humans don't do well with abstractions and theories. We crave something concrete to sink our teeth into.

During the Cold War, the idea of mutual assured destruction which kept us extremely hesitant to launch nuclear warheads at Russia. The Right does a good job of spreading fear by perpetuating the idea that we could be slaves of Islamic Fundamentalism, but it does not touch upon a much more likely scenario. The problem with the terrorist threat is, I believe, not that we would be overtaken by Islamic radicals, but that we could end up destroying the human race through a massive global conflict. If that were to be the case, then the stated objective of these Muslim radicals would not be secured. They wish for the world to ascribe to their brand of perverse ideology but instead they would ensure the destruction of the world itself.

I for one would like to know some concrete facts about how far we've come that aren't tainted by either a pro-war or anti-war bias. These days, the Right and Left have become so polarized by the conflict that I don't feel as though I'm getting an objective picture either way. As John Lennon said, All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth.

Has Iraq truly become a haven for jihadists? Is another attack imminent? What is the next incarnation of terrorism? What steps have we taken to ward off another invasion? Are we truly safer?

So many questions and so few answers.


Evil Spock said...

There won't be mutual destruction, because the Middle East doesn't have any comparable nuclear weapons.

Regardless, no one in their right mind (current crazy GOP leadership included) would sanction nuclear weapons.

Pavel Chekov said...

You bring up some interesting points. These are frightening times we are living in.