Priorities, Priorties

Well, the whole world is all messed up and I can’t help blaming Bush for it. Everyday, we get closer to going to war with Iraq and I just don’t understand why. So, they say Saddam’s stockpiling weapons again and when we told him to stop, he didn’t. No, shit, really? Yes, he’s technically in violation of Gulf War treaties, but are we really surprised? I mean, just because we whooped his ass over ten years ago (damn, has it really been that long?) doesn’t mean he’s not going to try some stupid crap again. He’s Saddam. That’s what he does. You can’t be an evil dictator without doing stuff like this.

The price of gas is skyrocketing now and people, as usual, are claiming that this war is really about oil in the end. We want to “stop terror,” but other countries aren’t joining in because of economic ties, i.e., they need oil. Maybe that’s the case, maybe it isn’t. It’s probably more about the Bush administration’s strange obsession with Iraq, Bush’s attempt to emulate his father and hopefully unlike his father, time the war on Iraq just right so it’ll carry him through to a second term. As for oil though, last time I checked the US has enough oil resources domestically to meet its needs, but environmentalists and the like won’t let us drill for it, forcing us to go to OPEC. Oddly enough, while this is certainly a simplistic way to look at it, the same people who won’t let us drill don’t want us to go to war. Well, what the hell are we supposed to do then? Yes, we should probably trash all our gas-guzzling cars and all get little electric vehicles (well, I won’t until Lexus makes an electric luxury sedan with over 200 HP under the hood), saving the environment and reduing the burning of fossil fuels, but the reality is that there are a lot of freakin’ things that need oil and gas and that’s not going to change overnight, so what do we do in the meantime?

But the real thing that is scaring the crap out of me is the situation with North Korea. Why is no one taking this as seriously as they should? Yes, we could whoop their ass if they ever tried anything, but it only takes one nuclear bomb to kill a whole lot of people and mess up those who didn’t die from the explosion and their children for decades. There is some strange irony to the fact that the first uses of the a-bomb ended World War II, resulting in Korea being released from Japanese colonial rule. Of course, the post-war division of the country by the Allies also resulted in the Korean War, the political division of the country into two separate states, and the development of a very isolationist, very closed, very scary Communist North Korean state. Ah, history.

Incidentally, I went to the dentist a few weeks ago and he acted like I might be personally responsible for the situation with North Korea. He’s got his hands in my mouth, light focused on my face, and the conversation is pretty much like this:

  • Dentist: “What is your ethnicity again?”
  • Me: “I’m Korean.”
  • D: “Right… that’s what I thought. What do you think about this whole thing? Its very scary.”
  • M: “Yeah, it is. I think they’re just after aid, money.”
  • D: “Mm… so you think it’s just blackmail?”
  • M: “Yeah.”
  • D: “You’re parents imigrated here? When was that?”
  • M: “1973.”
  • D: “Oh, so you were born here.”
  • M: “Yup.”
  • D: “Right… right…”

I don’t think he was really looking to call INS or anything, but weird, definitely weird. Of course, no day is complete unless somebody’s asked about the immigration history of your family while inside your mouth.

So, as we start the mad goose chase to catch Saddam again (what happened to our search for Osama Bin Laden? can we only focus on one Middle Eastern villain at a time?), North Korean jets tail American spy planes and the North Koreans start missile testing. Is this what Bush calls setting priorities?

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