One of the greatest challenges for me in communicating in my post-facebook life is thinking for myself. When I was part of the largest social network, it was extremely easy to pick and choose from the statements and posts of my far more active friends and simply re-post their thoughts. Now, for the most part, I am on my own. I need to find topics that interest me and that I think are worth expounding on, then I need to do the actual expounding myself, rather than re-posting the expoundations of other folks. The problems with this vary. First, there is the problem of narrowing down the possible topics to a manageable level. Then there is working up the courage to make statements about said topics that actually have my name on them. So here is an attempt.
Last week when I was in Bloomington, I reconnected with an old friend from Trinidad. We asked him how things are there these days and he revealed that Trinidad is not as nice as when he left. He said that since 9/11 social conditions there had worsened considerably. Confused, we asked him what effect 9/11 could possibly have had on this lovely Caribbean island. It turns out that when the towers came down and the USA went to war with the entire Middle-East, the security forces we had previously had in the Gulf of Mexico were rapidly removed and sent to the desert to "fight for our freedom". When this happened, drug runners went rampant, and have been wreaking havoc in the Islands, just as they have in Mexico ever since.
This connection makes me furious. I have been against our involvement in the Middle-East ever since it began over a decade ago now. This news just escalates those feelings. If the US government would be honest and state outright that "the long war" is an outright imperialist move because the world's oil reserves are seriously depleted and that the only way they can keep the average American fat and happy in their SUV is to take over oil producing nations I could at least respect their forthrightness. But to continue to claim that they are protecting our freedom by fighting an endless "war against terrorism" is ridiculous. Especially when one factors in the loss of freedoms we have experienced since the inception of this war, and when one includes the clear and present danger of totally unregulated drug lord activity on our borders.
Instead of spending billions upon billions of dollars on this interminable war, spend it on the people of our nation to help extricate them from the terrors of drug addiction, spend it on our flagging education system, spend it providing health care (not enforcing the purchase of health insurance), spend it on helping this nation "power-down" from their oil gluttony. If the money being spent to destroy nations half a world away were being spent on improving our own nation perhaps American policemen would not need to beat up peaceful American protesters in the street.
See what happens when I think for myself?