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Tom Gordon

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February 26, 2006

America under the Crescent? Nah
(Sorry, goofed the posting chronology -- blanking Blogger!)

One of the biggest problems, I think, with the present War on (Pretty Much Islamofascist) Terror is that the American public generally doesn't have a handle upon what the dire consequences of 'failure' would be. If after less than five years, the destruction of the World Trade Center has already been written off by over 50% of the populace as one of those regrettable comeuppances that just happens sometimes -- but detaining terrorists and illegally tapping their phone lines, now THERE'S something to get worked up over! -- somehow I don't think painting a scary picture of an besieged Northern Ireland-esque United States rife with arbitrary bombings, restrictive checkpoints and travel permits, or an ex-secular geriatric Europe making her violent transition towards sharia, is going to make a whit of difference, there.

Likewise, any attempt to clumsily retrofit old Cold War-era nightmare 'occupation' scenarios. One of the things that made hella grim speculative novels such as "Warday" or a television specatacle like "Amerika" so compelling/traumatizing circa 1987 was their plausibility. While it's easy to laugh about such things now, the Soviet Union nevertheless was an 800-ton elephantine threat back then, with its own most formidable military, gigatons of nuclear warheads at the Politburo's disposal, and -- most importantly -- a coherent framing ideology, being exported abroad. Oh, everybody, even Gorbachev, still knew the USSR was on its last legs economically -- thanks Marxism! But NOBODY knew in what form the eventual 'death' might take. A mutual nuke swap meet, or a desperate ploy to cripple the US with an EMP and seize her rich farmland was just as believable a prospect as the (mostly) peaceful disintegration that eventually occured.

The suicide cult of modern fundamentalist Islam, however, is nothing BUT ideology. (At least for now, and I have little doubt America and Israel intend it to stay that way, by any means necessary.) Oh, its killbot followers can (and do) have the capacity to blow up buildings, slaughter scores of innocent civilians, and regularly parrot Democratic Party talking points on television like a enturbaned Cobra Commander. But in America at least, such psychotic tactics have only compelled us to take off the kid gloves, and begin laying the smackdown in earnest.

And while our weak-kneed lamestream media entities may regularly capitulate to such intimidation tactics under the all-encompassing cloak of 'tolerance,' outside the hermetically sealed inner sanctums of newsrooms and college campuses, such twaddle is meaningless. The Idea is everything. And if you approached the average Joe Blow on the streets of Anytown, USA and calmly explained to him the terms of his dhimmitude, even if he owned a Prius and subscribed to The Nation, he'd still growl "oh yeah, buddy? Up yours."

No. American culture and her people are consistently saturated with the tropes of irreverence and defiant individualism. We're deeply suspicious of authority -- especially religious authority -- and alternatively revel in/bar-brawl over our wide specturm of differences. This affectation is a nation's curse (in that we can't be of a single laser-focussed mind when confronting an obvious malevolence like Islamofascism). But it also means we won't readily kneel to any Man With A Plan.

So. In 2040, what banner will the Land of the Free slouch under?

If you said 'A' (and recognize that's intended to be the Milky Way galaxy's several billion stars), you're both an insane optimist and somebody I'd probably like to know. Oh, I'll gladly admit it's a possibility, especially if we do build that Big Cyber Brain and bootstrap ourselves into space-faring transcendence. But why would a godlike posthuman care about the colors of ants?

'B' is safe, boring and the most likely of the bunch. Heck, at this ever-stagnant point, I can't even make provisions for a minor change in the number of states anymore. Absorbing Canada (for instance) would not significantly alter circumstances for either nation -- but you'd have half the planet screaming bloody murder over Arrogant Yankee Imperialism anyhoo.

And while I don't like 'D,' unless Bruce Willis gets his overly colorful/lame drill jocks hustling towards civilization-killing Apophis ASAP, it's far more probable than The United Planets of America.

But that remaining design? Forget it. I have. (Besides, Malaysia would complain.)
Anonymous djinn babbled...

amerika lol... I remember that one. The miniseries lasted longer than communism itself!

Choice B sounds about right.

2/27/2006 5:01 PM  

Blogger Tom Gordon babbled...

Well, yeah. "Amerika" may dragged a bit there (ye gods, what was it? 14+ hours? Even a butt-numbing marathon of all the 'extended DVD' versions of Pete Jackson's LOTR films wouldn't have lasted that long), but to quote Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne, back then yours truly thought it was "damn good television." (And I was still something of a muddle-brained leftist back then, too!)

I just loved the way starry-eyed United Nations 'internationalist' mythology was subtly exploited by the Russian bosses in order to make the occupation more palatable to the masses -- IE, changing the American flag to a UN one with crossed US/USSR flags (instead of the usual expected hammer 'n sickled Stars & Stripes).

And the best part was that thoroughly brainwashed Commie Kid™ spouting Marxist dogma at every turn like a pint-sized Chomsky-bot, and (eventually) betraying in his family to the KGB. Also, there were some flippin' sweet Blue Thunder-esque gunship helicopters. Becuase, y'know, if you're gonna forcibly change America into a Worker's Paradise, you're gonna need lots and lots of helicopters.

2/27/2006 6:21 PM  

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