Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cold war

It was 14 degrees when I walked the dogs this morning. The temperatures have been below average for most of the past month. Inevitably, this has local skeptics pooh-poohing the idea that global warming is happening, which only reinforces the notion of referring to the changes in Earth’s climate as “climate change.” At this point, anyone who predicts how this will play out, no matter how credentialed he or she may be, is just guessing.

Similarly, in a world where an infinite number of variables come into play, there’s really no predicting how a given state action will determine the future, either. The most devastating example of unintended consequences in recent history is the US action in Afghanistan in the ‘80s, where the CIA essentially created the network of Islamic holy warriors who eventually morphed into Al Qaeda.

There’s an excellent summary of the history of US intervention in Afghanistan at the website Information Clearinghouse, written by one of the leading scholars of American imperialism, Michael Parenti ( I was going to excerpt some of it today, but it’s worth reading the whole thing to get Parenti’s view of just how tragic a story it is, and to understand why it represents the truly evil impulses at the heart of American foreign policy.

A cold war, indeed.

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