Friday, October 9, 2009

The Nobel Hopes Obama will Stop Replacing Dominos with Hopscotch

Certainly the president's efforts to begin ridding the world of nukes is worth the prize. And with most of the war-lie action concentrated in the Middle East, it draws attention to the fact that Israel too has a nuclear arsenal.

But in terms of the big picture, the American president is being strongly advised to replace the Vietnam era domino theory (you let one country “fall” to communism, others follow”), with the game of hopscotch (vulgarly known as whackamole).

First, in pursuit of Bin Laden, we invaded Afghanistan.  But they didn’t have any oil, so our master storytellers invented Iraqi links to Al Quada and biological weapons, and we invaded that country.  Having, as our military is fond of saying “just about finished the job there”, we’re back concentrating on Afghanistan, which, after nine years, is proving, as it always has, resistant to remodeling.  But during this interval, Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan, got a new, civilian government that seems to see the disadvantages of worrying more about India than about Al Quada and the Taliban, a Pushtun group that it shares with Afghanistan.

This set-up already has our under-subscribed military stretched thin.  But we’ve made it our business to carp at Iran, a country which has not given sanctuary to any terrorists, nor invaded anyone, because they MAY BE developing an atomic weapon.  We justify our concern for that by the idea that such as-yet non-existent weapons could fall into the hands of Hezbollah and Hamas, who are Israel’s enemies.

The hop-scotch terrain that has replaced the game of dominos is not quite complete: Somalia, on the horn of Africa, whence pirates have been brazenly attacking ships in open waters and holding them for huge ransoms, perhaps the oldest failed state, now appears as the next possible haven for Al Quada and Company (Senator Feingold actually mentioned this last night, stealing my thunder).

In the end, I think the Nobel Committee wanted to help Obama resist donning Superman’s cape: for this game of hopscotch, Air Force One - or even a new helicopter just wouldn’t cut it.

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