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03 April 2011

Crank up the Zeta Beam! Get me the fuck off this crazy, violent planet! / Help pick a name for the unnamed CV Underway station / Why is Libya getting hammered, but Syria and Bahrain and Yemen get a free pass to murder their pro-democracy protesters?

 Click images to enlarge.

As I recuperate from 2 Big Surgeries, my eyes are on the prize: a return to my life of travel, which was beginning to seem as if it had come to a Dead End. During the last year, my feet and legs have been misbehaving so badly that I haven't even been able to hop the Zeta Beam to spend time in my holiday condo in Ciudad Vleeptron, capital of Planet Vleeptron, in the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy. But my doctors assure me all that's coming back, with time and exercise.

My holiday condo, by the way, is just a few steps from the Shoe Mirrors station of the CV Underway.

The last time I posted the CV Underway map was to announce, with embarrassment and shock, that one station had no name. A few names were nominated in the Comment Sewers Deep Beneath Ciudad Vleeptron, but none of them was approved by the CV Underway Board of Supervisors. 

So I'm re-opening the nominations. This situation must be fixed. The station -- between Mozart and Mollyringwald Centre -- must have a name.

Vleeptron, and particularly its capital, are just wonderful travel destinations, with fantastic music clubs and marvelously delicious ethnic restaurants, take my word for it. More and more I've come to rely on the Zeta Beam (when it's working) to get me the fuck out of here when Earth just sucks beyond my pathetic capacity to endure it.

You may have noticed that the United States of America has now embarked on ***3*** simultaneous wars. 

Fortunately wars are free, they don't cost us anything. In fact Iraq is turning a big profit for us with all that free oil, and there are big promises of enormous profit from previously untapped natural resources in Afghanistan. 

Any day now, the USA will embark on an ambitious program of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, building new routes of high-speed rail, and building new schools and hospitals all over the place with this cornucopia of colonial riches. 

There's a reason for these wars, and it sure doesn't have anything to do with Freedom or Democracy or Third-World Gender Equality.

Well, there are two reasons. There's Greed, of course.

But it also seems very odd that all three wars (or 2 wars and 1 No-Fly Zone) are aimed at whomping the shit out of Muslims. 

Now the USA is most explicitly NOT an officially Christian nation; the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes that clear.

But let's face it: Everybody (or 93 percent of everybody) thinks this is a Christian Nation. It's now a centerpiece of our political process that whoever wants the presidential nomination of either major party -- certainly the nomination of the Tea-Party-flavored Republicans -- has to first demonstrate that he or she is a ferociously devout Born-Again Christian, with tons of Sunday church-going photo ops.

So what does a Christian Nation do to reflect its core identity? We periodically launch a Crusade to whomp the crap out of Muslims here and there. 

(And Buddhists -- my old war was aimed at Correcting the Thinking of Buddhists on Bicycles. We lost, they're still Buddhists and Atheists, with some lingering Roman Catholics from the French Colonial days.)

So what's Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? Oh, it's hard to keep track, but I'd guess they're something like The 53rd, 54th and 55th Crusade.

Onward Christian Soldiers!

Yeah, well, I can only take just so much of that Krusade Klown Krap, and then I start dreaming of spending some quality Off-Earth Time on Vleeptron. (Vleeptron's last war, the 2nd Garlic War, ended 124,000 years ago.)

Right now I've given the keys to my holiday condo to Lenny and Spike, the hitchhiking teenage stoat and weasel dropouts, and I hope they haven't trashed the place, because I intend to get reassembled at the Akira Kurosawa Zeta Beam Drome (AKZBD) and toss my backpack into the condo any week now.

This has absolutely nothing to do with our high-minded humanitarian reasons for establishing the No-Fly Zone, but Libya produces 2 percent of the world's oil. Most of it, I imagine, goes straight north across the Mediterranean to Italy, Libya's former (and notoriously brutal) colonial ruler.

Meanwhile, dictators-for-life, and autocratic monarchs, are the USA's longtime allies all over the Middle East.  

Bashar al-Assad of Syria isn't the USA's friend or ally -- Syria's relationship with the USA is chillier and more hostile than Libya's -- and in the wave of popular uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, Assad is taking the hardest line, sending his security forces to fire live ammo to suppress the demonstrations. 

Why isn't the USA and NATO sending naval and air assets to the coast off Syria? Why isn't there any media or diplomatic talk about a No-Fly Zone, or some protective mechanism for the unarmed protesters, in Syria? Why is there no military assistance for the protesters in Bahrain or Yemen

Our foreign policy regarding the pro-democracy anti-totalitarian protests seems to be a very mysterious picking and choosing, going to war against Khaddafy's Libya, and completely ignoring brutal suppressions elsewhere. 

No one -- not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not President Obama, not UK Prime Minister David Cameron, not French President Nicolas Sarkozy -- devotes a single sentence to explain who gets hammered with Cruise Missiles, and who gets completely ignored, and allowed to murder its own unarmed citizen protesters.

Since 1995, the US Navy Fifth Fleet, whose operational region is the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, has been headquartered in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. The King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa,
has sought and received troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help suppress unarmed protests in Manama. 

I can find at least five protesters killed by security forces as of mid-March, and Manama's distinctive Pearl Roundabout tower (before oil, pearl-fishing was Bahrain's economic centerpiece) was torn down because it had become the gathering place of many hundreds of pro-democracy protesters. 

The USA isn't making a peep about it.

1 comment:

James J. Olson said...

Ah, nice to have you back.