Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's New?

About twenty years ago there was a big thing about “fifty is the new thirty,” which had to do with aging. Since age thirty was in my drinking days and my memory of those days is cloudy at best, I never knew quite what it meant, but I can tell you right now that seventy is not the new fifty.

Today there is “orange is the new black,” and I have no clue what that means. I was in a church the other week and the minister’s outfit still looked black to me, so it’s not that. Maybe we’re supposed to keep an eye peeled overhead for orange helicopters?

Which brings us to “Syria is the new Afghanistan” and, yes, I just made that up based on watching the news and reading newspapers. They are pressing very hard to make us afraid of this new combined force of terrorists named ISIS and the territory they have occupied, which they are referring to as a “safe haven.” They are telling us that this terrorist army can “spread it’s agents throughout Europe and the United States” where they will be able to “mount small attacks,” and that if they maintain this “safe haven” long enough they will be able to use it for “planning 9/11 scale attacks.”

Because “9/11 scale attacks” can only be planned in “safe havens.” They cannot be planned in, say, downtown Hamburg, Germany. Oh, wait. The attack of 9/11 was planned in downtown Hamburg, Germany. And so, of course, we invaded and occupied Afghanistan.

I’m not particularly worried that ISIS is going to build massive airfields in northern Iraq or eastern Syria, from which they will launch massive Trans-Atlantic air strikes against the United States. What I am concerned about is that if enough people talk about a “safe haven” long enough, then Obama will feel compelled to launch another war to “deny them space in which to plan their attacks,” which we have been doing in Afghanistan for more than twelve years now.

Because Syria is, apparently, the new Afghanistan.

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