Monday, September 2, 2013

The Inspired and the Uninspired

Today is a strange day, a 64 year old swimmer makes a 54 hour swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.  She had 30 some odd people helping her, she stopped to eat twice, she stopped to drink once per hour, and she didn't let jellyfish stings stop her.  She swam and swam.  At the press conference she had three messages:

  1. Never give up.
  2. You're never too old to chase your dream
  3. It looks like a solitary sport but it's a team
What a great message for all of us.  She "failed" several times but it was really just part of the journey on the way to her dream.

The other side is the pursuit of uninspired decision making.  The President and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem to think if we interview in Syria, we can get a more favorable government toward the United States
.  It's truly ridiculous.  The reason the British Parliament said no was because the opposition and the current government are equally bad.  Although no surprise, the UN has also walked away from any intervention in Syria as well.  Wanting it to be different will not change anything.

Senator McCain said that Syria is destabilizing Lebanon and Jordan.  First Lebanon has been unstable since the 70's at least.  They have their own "war" raging between two Muslim sects and the Christian sect.  Jordan is so small it's been ripe for the picking for a long time.  What we should do if we're really concerned is ask if Jordan and Lebanon want us to help protect their borders, and even that would be a hard sell on both sides of the question.  McCain is blaming the insurgence of terrorists in Iraq on Syria, but in reality it has more to do with the draw down of our forces.  What today's people need to understand is that these types of conflicts mean being involved in other countries for decades.  Case in point?  South Korea.  We've been there since the end of the Korean War holding the border.  What makes us think that Iraq would be different?

Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran all benefit from us getting tied up in Syria and causing more hate towards the "Big Satan" throughout the extremist muslim world.  We have limited resources due to a recession that is still not recovering adequately and cuts to a military that we continue to put huge demands on.

The ability to "take care of" Iran has been miffed over and over.  The times when opposition actually came forward the United States chose to watch instead of intervene.  If we were worried about nuclear proliferation in Iran, we should have taken action then.  In the meantime, leaving Afghanistan and Iraq just tells our enemies we will not stay the course.

So on one hand today is a day of renewed hope that anyone can make a difference and attain their dreams, on the other is an exercise in more stupidity to take our eye off the ball on what is really important.  We'll see which one wins in the coming days.