King George brags about not reading newspapers. I can't tell you why he thinks this is something to brag about, but I can tell you that if he was a reader instead of a Leedur, he just might have read Frankenstein and learned a little something about the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Robert K. Merton listed five causes of unanticipated consequences:
* Ignorance (It is impossible to anticipate everything.) [Especially if one doesn't read the August 6th PDB!]
* Error (Incomplete analysis of the problem, or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation.) [The Taliban aren't the Commanche]
* Immediate interest may override long-term interests. [More on this on the flip side]
* Basic values may require or prohibit certain actions, even if the long-term result might be unfavorable. These long-term consequences may eventually cause changes in those same basic values. [We're watching that happen to America today]
* Self-defeating prophesy Fear of some consequence [like the loss of control over the world's petroleum reserves?] drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is unanticipated.
Let's look at just one example of the Law of Unintended Consequences as applied to one Bu$hco initiative.
Long before geologists thought they could find lots of oil in Afghanistan [that would be in 1998, or during the Clinton Years], the US government sought to build a pipeline through Afghani territory. But one thing stopped them - the existing Taliban government:
"CentGas can not begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place." [ "U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics", 12 Feb 1998]
Note the pejorative internationally recognized! The Taliban didn't recognize 'influence' in the form of baksheesh, which is the basis of all business when one broadens the definition slightly. Thus, they had to be put in their place until they understood how the ca$h cow ate the cabbage.
(Speaking of Ca$h Cow$ - a very familiar name cropped up as the 1998 CentGas pipeline contractor - Halliburton!)
Our government, through the agency of Diebold & SCOTUS ($)election (mi$)Management, Inc., changed before the government of Afghanistan did, but the goal of an Afghan pipeline route did not.
Bu$hCo took over the project, and in typcial Topper fa$cion, attenpted to buy favor with the Taliban through funds allocated to the War on Drugs (something even uber-Conservative William Buckley says is a lost cause!). As Afghanistan was the world's largest supplier of opium (even if the Taliban were being successful in suppressing cultivation), this might be justified.
But that didn't buy access for the pipeline. So when Osama attacked the World Trade Center with airliners that Bu$hCo so thoughtfully didn't protect from his minions because 'no one thought they would be used', that Afghanistan was alleged to be sheltering Osama provided the excuse to attack the Taliban and 'force them to convert' to Big Oil 'Christianity'.
Now just stage an-American Diebold-style ($)election and install an oil company consultant as president (no matter that his people see him as a traitor and a puppet), and everything will be fine! Just give DynCorp a no-bid contract to keep him alive, use FAUX News to create television reality so it seems like he has control of the nation, and that pipeline will practically build itself!
Not so fast there, Crawford!
As every bronc rider knows, you don't ease up on your grip until someone else has control of the horse - and in this instance, George didn't and is getting bucked off.
The power of the Taliban continues to grow while George continues to crow about how much control his puppet, Karzai of Unocal, has over Afghanistan. But the Taliban appear to be in control of Helmand province in the southwest, and also in the province of Uruzgan, an area much closer to Kabul.
But it doesn't stop there!
There are indications that Taliban power is growing in Pakistan as well, which threatens Western puppet General Pervez Musharraf, whose hold over the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is tenuous at best. It isn't clear which side his ISI is on, being suspected of conducting a terror attack against US troops in Afghanistan on March 12, 2006.
Hold on! It isn't over yet!
On another front not yet on the plates of the Pentagon's planners, there are reports that the Taliban are rising in Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan. Despite the nasty civil war which spawned Bangladesh, there are still enough sympathies between the separated halves for Bangladesh to take up the radical Islamic cause.
"The present government in Bangladesh is hardcore, influenced by Muslims and therefore 'Jehadis' are dominating the country. More than 400 bomb blasts were carried out in August last alone by Muslim terrorists ..."
Considering that the US has plans to establish a 'permanent' presense in Central Asia, one would think that Bu$hCo would be taking more pains to establish stability in the region. But they are way too busy in Iraq to deal with Central Asian plans effectively.
Similarly to the situation in Afghanistan, the 'insurgency' - a term which conveys upon the Iraqi 'government' a legitimacy it clearly hasn't earned from the Iraqi people - reaches deeply into the 'back areas' of the civil war. The Independent reports that even doctors got into the action, killing government soldiers using treatment for wounds.
On the government side, Shi'a death squads obviously learned the Negroponte method of national control, reportedly killing as many as 1300 mostly Sunni people - an action which isn't going to engender loyalty toward the government, or the US.
Add in Kurdish nationalism and their version of ethnic cleansing (which hasn't led to the sort of widespread killing seen in the Balkans - yet), and it is clear that Bu$hCo is in way over its flat heads. This isn't Harkin Oil, with Poppy's friends willing to rush in with cash to save Junior from himself just to curry favor. Poppy is essentially a nobody now, so who cares about him or his lame-a$$ son?
Ever since America became the United State of The Texas Awl Bidni$$ and the 49 Wannabees in 2000, the best solutions to the problems facing America have been suppressed in favor of the continued profitability of Big Oil, which is dominated by Texans. Their investment in Dubai-yeah was supposed to be paid off through the control or influence of the majority of the world's petroleum reserves. That hasn't happened, and I don't see that it is going to.
That investment is a loser, and even Texans know when to cut their losses. That may be why George's popularity is being allowed to sink through the media coverage of his failures since Katrina (Whether or not those failures couldn't be hidden any longer is irrelevant to my point). It may be why there is so much recent coverage of the Republican aspirants to the post of Oil Company Lackey-in-Chief (and Hillary, so that there is no opposition to them from the Democrats). A couple of years of marking time is nothing when the payoff for patience just got so much bigger with the recent discoveries in Afghanistan. They can afford to wait.
The question is: can we as a nation afford to allow this?
When the time comes to pay the piper, the beneficiaries of Big Oil aren't going to stay behind and help pay off the bills they created. They will take their money and run to the first nation that will accept dollars for sanctuary. It is the rest of us that will have to pay for the bills for Reagan's 600 ship Navy, intended to protect supertankers as they travelled the world laden with profits. It is the rest of us who will reimburse the world's nations for the costs of the wars of petroleum conquest in IraNq.
They aren't greeting us with roses in the streets. The only red to be seen is going to come from our own bloody noses. We deserve it. We allowed our nation to be hijacked to service private 'free' market enterprises (mainly Big Oil) with hardly a whimper. Our negligence as citizens of this nation is going to hurt this nation badly, assuming it survives the coming retribution. Osama was just the beginning.
As more nations abandon their commitments to us, and transfer their economic holdings into other currencies, the effects of our folly will be felt by almost everyone. Only a few of us will have the means to ride it out in some semblance of comfort while residing in some other country. The rest of us will learn how the majority of the world now lives thanks to our greediest citizens.
Are you going to eat the label off that can? Trade you a shoe lace for it!
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