Woke up this morning to the clock radio set on NPR news and the reality that kids in New York area schools are contracting a deadly form of staph infection that anit-biotics are useless against, and one middle school student has died (after getting a flyer from our school district in my son's backpack last week saying the infection has turned up in our school system as well); plus the report from the U.N. on the planet's health saying mankind is ignoring the warnings of the past twenty years about the destruction of the planet as habitable for humans and will soon reach a point of no return for the demise of the human race (!) and despite the overextension of our military, the suicides and mental breakdowns of our veterans faced with a war where there are no opposing troops, just civilians who may or may not be involved in attacks on our military, losing ground in Afghanistan, more coporate profits while more people declare bankruptcy and more laws are changed to make it easier for coporations to do ANYTHING NECESSARY to be profitable, no matter the consequences to the planet or humanity, etc. etc. and then Mike Graham sends me a column by Rosa Brooks from yesterday's L. A. Times which I excerpt a few paragraphs from below that summarize the madness of the times we live in:
"George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment.
Because they've clearly gone mad. Exhibit A: We're in the middle of a disastrous war in Iraq, the military and political situation in Afghanistan is steadily worsening, and the administration's interrogation and detention tactics have inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements around the globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tamp down tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with hostile parties and give our military a little breathing space. But crazy people? They look around and decide it's a great time to start another war.
That would be with Iran, and you'd have to be deaf not to hear the war drums. Last week, Bush remarked that "if you're interested in avoiding World War III . . . you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." On Sunday, Cheney warned of "the Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic power . . . [we] cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions." On Tuesday, Bush insisted on the need "to defend Europe against the emerging Iranian threat."
Huh? Iran is now a major threat to Europe? The Iranians are going to launch a nuclear missile (that they don't yet possess) against Europe (for reasons unknown because, as far as we know, they're not mad at anyone in Europe)? This is lunacy in action.
Writing in Newsweek on Oct. 20, Fareed Zakaria, a solid centrist and former editor of Foreign Affairs, put it best. Citing Bush's invocation of "the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon," Zakaria concluded that "the American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. . . . Iran has an economy the size of Finland's. . . . It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are . . . allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?"