Monday, September 10, 2007

Q: What is the future of Iraq?

A: Poland 1795

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a nation called Poland. It lay between Prussia, Austria, and Russia.

Over a period of about twenty years, Prussia, Austria and Russia got it in its collective mind that Poland served no purpose. So each country sent in some armies, occupied some territory and the next thing you know Poland was gone.

It wasn’t until Napoleon took over most of Europe that Poland came back into existence.

So what does this have to do with Iraq?

Well let’s go back to the beginning in an elementary sort of way. After World War I England and France sat down with a pencil and created Iraq out of the remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Prior to the nation building by pencil, Iraq, a.k.a Mesopotamia, was just another land of scattered tribes united under the Ottoman sultan, living by the word of Muhammad or Ali’s Prophet.

Western Europe needed Iraq. Left unattended that area of the world could fall prey to any one of a number of emerging powers: Bolsheviks, Corporate America or jeepers, the Mesopotamians themselves.

Iraq was and is more a figment of Western European imagination than an indigenous nation state in blossoming mode.

Over time a variety of kings and tyrants kept the figment, erh… I mean dream live.

Today the United States is the keeper of the dream and United States military is holding the dream together. Nobody else seems to want to. Of course, we can’t be there forever. If you look at our history of occupation, Viet Nam, Japan, Germany, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Philippines, at some point we leave. We really don’t like to occupy. We’d rather leave some military bases behind and let corporations spread the spirit of American capitalism.

Make no mistake. We will leave Iraq. It may take 10 months or 10 years. But we will leave. And in our wake we’ll leave one really big ass military base around Basra the will allow us to regulate the transport of Mesopotamian oil to the Persia Gulf.

And then nature will run its course.

The Kurds in the north will set up their own state, maybe in collaboration with the Kurds in Turkey or annex itself to Kurdistan. The Shiites will make a sandbox and align with Iran. The minority Sunni’s will set up a state that most likely will have the support of the US, Western Europe and most importantly Baathist Syria and Wahhabic Saudi Arabia. But there won't be any Iraq as we know it today.

So here’s an idea: Let’s save a few million lives and billions and billions of dollars and send Condoleezza Rice to Baghdad with a big pencil and do what François Georges-Picot and Mark Sykes did in 1915: carve it up in the best interest of the victors.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Q: What are men?

A: Dogs

I’ve been a guy for a long while. I am pretty typical in terms of the gender. I like to eat. I like to sniff women. Give me a toy and I will be enraptured with it for hours no matter how stupid it is. Saturday nap is a big deal. Put me on a leash and I will pull at it to the point of asphyxiation.

Whereas my evolutionary ancestors may be apes, in terms of my day to day wandering I am a dog. I’ve come to accept it. It’s my nature.

I like to think that I am a good dog, the type that any owner would want: loyal, house broken, entertaining and a good companion on a cold night.

But not all dogs are good dogs. Some dogs are bad. You know the type, half starved creatures that roam the night, foraging from garbage can to garbage can while looking for bitches to hump.

They're mongrels.

Mongrels eat whatever they can sink their teeth into and hump anything that walks, regardless of breed or condition.

Some mongrels look adorable. They have those forlorn eyes and cute tails that lead the unsuspecting mark to think that the intermittent doggie treat and occasional pet on the snoot will make the animal safe to be around the kids. And they will be safe, until no one is looking.

Mongrels have no care for the feelings or conditions of other dogs. They’ve spent much too much time in the trash bins of life to have developed the adequate ability to look out for any number other than one. For them it’s all about feeding and humping.

So what’s the big deal?

Here’s the big deal: I am the father of daughters, brother to a sister, husband to not one, but two wives, (sequentially of course) and a friend to many women. I have an investment in the well being of the gender. I’ve come to learn that more than a few of the women in my life have been bitten by mongrels in the most horrible of ways: words of undying affection and eternal consideration that crescendo to a grand finale of “It's not working out. Thanks for the nooky. Goodbye.” No reason, no discussion, no nothing.

Now here is what I know about women: they’re flowers. They smell good, look good and bring beauty to world. Good dogs don’t trample on flowers. Mongrels can't wait. Mongrels make me so ashamed to be a man that there are times that I want to cut off the johnson, if I didn’t like it so much. It’s despicable.

Now don’t get me wrong. I've dated my share of Venus Flytraps. We all come with baggage. But for a man to pursue a member of the opposite sex with no other purpose than to eat, hump and throw away is unconscionable and indecent.

And yet the mongrels get away with it. Why? Because they can. Unless you’re Amy Fisher, there’s no pain in mongrel behavior. So ladies next time you encounter a mongrel, don’t call the dog catcher. Just call the exterminator. And remember, every man is a dog, and can be a mongrel until proven otherwise.