I’m reminded of a Simpson’s bit. Grampa and Jasper are working in Springfield Elementary School for some plot device. Jasper has got his beard caught in a pencil sharpener. Grampa keeps saying, ‘Let’s see. How about if I try this?” and turns the crank. Each time Jasper’s beard gets pulled further into the sharpener. But he does it again anyway.
Whether it’s the various incarnations and rewrites of Russia-gate, endless sanctions on countries who have committed the sin against the Holy Spirit of denying America’s every whim, or the recent Stoner Crusade by Jess Sessions, when will we learn? They all backfire. They all have the net effect of doing exactly the opposite of what we so exquisitely execute them to do. Why not just borrow our enemy’s hand gun so we can shoot ourselves in the head?
Case in point? Starting a civil war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against Russia did not have the effect of driving a stupendously popular support for President Putin into the Dacha dump. Oddly, the Russian people rallied behind their rulers, who obliged by finding replacements for the French cheese, vegetables, and German technology they were denied. Suddenly, Russian made became chic.
One of the things sanctioned was insulin, which sounds like a war crime to me aimed at the weakest members of society. Why don’t we sanction hair plugs and Viagra? That’ll hit the ruling class hard. We have the moral high ground by withholding someone’s insulin? Really? So, what did they do? Russia built its own insulin manufacturing facility. They are a modern technological society, after all. They can do stuff like that. Farms, dairies, factories, plants, international deals, mutual defense pacts, prosperity. Education. Literacy. A rising middle class. Better relations with foreign countries that had not previously been allies. They’re like, real people. Oh, and Europe has suffered economic decline. Turns out that they need Russia more than Russia needs them. Nice one, Machiavelli.
And Mr. Just-say-no Sessions. States are making billions in revenue on the Marijuana trade. It’s like it’s a legitimate business or something. Instead of just moseying along ignoring Federal laws while, one by one, the states take the bong into their own hands, this might just force the issue in the halls of Congress. Thanks, Jeff. I was tired of paying cash.
And it doesn’t just come from American lack of insight. Israel, a usurping country in the Middle-east, still might have negotiated peace and co-existence with her neighbors. They’ve had almost 70 years. Now they have become a genocidal pariah cosplaying the holocaust but this time against Palestinians. The result? A national divide between ultra-hawks who are openly advocating torture and death for Palestinian children and honest Israelis who are horrified at what their country has become. And the Palestinians fight back with… a sixteen year old girl. Ahed Tamimi, who was filmed slapping two heavily armed Israeli soldiers who refused to leave their home. YouTube doesn’t forget. I don’t recognize the Israel I lived in during the 70’s. Nor am I proud of her. Torturing children is not good for your image.
What else would we like to promote? Communism? Socialism? Spaghetti Monster-ism? Rick-and-Morty-ism? No problem. Just find some blow-hard to come out against it. It will be the backbone of every new commune, kibbutz, chess club, cooperative, and soviet thrown together by idealistic commoners everywhere in no time.
Not only is negotiation and diplomacy the most powerful weapons in ours and every other arsenal, by far. It is the only one that can achieve our goals as well as the goals of our opponents without blowing up in either of our faces. Imagine that? And who could possibly object to that?
Talk to people. Listen. The feeling of actually accomplishing something might take you by surprise.
And Jeff. Don’t Bogart that Boomerang!