Word of warning- this was written Friday when I was half-asleep. Staying up till 3am is not a recipe for excellent blog posts. Trust me.
So I liked the title. This will be quite a bit more than sound-bytes.
On that subject, just a word on sound-bytes. I hate them. Absolutely detest them. I especially detest people that speak for sound-bytes. Like Sarah Palin or Obama. Palin is quite conceivably worse than Obama because she doesn't have a polished manner to pass off her sound-byte-speaking-ness as good speech-making. It's like every time the woman opens her mouth, a sound-byte comes out. It's annoying. ^.^
On the Miranda warning issue I wrote about the other day- this is an excellent op-ed piece on the issue. Quite good. ^.^
Increased Regulation = good, apparently
Mm-hmm. Now, I'm all for a certain bit of regulation. There are certain things that have to be regulated for our safety. For instance, immigration. Should be regulated. Imports and exports. Should be regulated, within reason. Corporations should be held in check to some extent, I think. There is a time and a place for government in business.
However, there are also times it goes overboard. And things like this happen-
"For example, the F.D.A. announced in October that it intended to ban the sale of raw, untreated oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico in warm months. Fifteen deaths a year are attributed to eating oysters with a cholera-like bacteria."
Now, I am absolutely convinced no possible health benefits could arise from eating fish. No, I don't care what some health expert says. I don't like fish. (Of course, one of my friends is convinced I am going to learn to love fish, but that's another discussion.) So if you're stupid enough to eat oysters when they're not in season, you deserve what you get (does that sound cruel?).
In all seriousness, I don't see why we should be regulating that. If people eat them and get sick, well, they should know the risks. You can't regulate stupidity. It never works, trust me.
Like I said, there are certain times we need regulation. Regulation has its place. But that place isn't micro-managing every facet of the production, distribution, and use of products.
Afghans Distrust us?!! What?!
Unfortunately yeah, they do. More properly, they distrust our puppet government. I can't imagine why they would...I mean, it's just full of corruption, and was set up by Americans who attacked their country without just cause and who keep destroying their infrastructure...no reason at all to distrust the government!!
However, what are we worried about?
Not that the Afghan people distrust us and our government, or that they might be getting sick of us...instead, we're worried about what effect said feelings will have on our strategy.
The problem can't be with our strategy. Our strategy is fool-proof. We are Americans. We are supreme. We know all. The problem is with the people. They just don't know what they want. They need to be happy. We freed them!! From a repressive regime!
Ignore the problem. It saves worry-power.
In all fairness though, it does seem like our military might possibly be trying. Of course...once again, another faction of the population doesn't want our help. This time, it's Karzai himself, who is of course, skirting the issue just a bit so as to avoid offending his American sponsors. In an effort by our forces to ease corruption, we're trying to get solid local governments set up.
Karzai doesn't want our help. That would imperil his own power.
One of the main reasons the Taliban was not a good government was because they did not make an effort to understand the dynamics of Afghanistan. They imposed their own system without discretion. How different are we, really? We want to impose freedom, democracy, American ways without thought to how well the Afghans will acclimate to that system.
Throughout history, foreign meddling has only put the Afghan system off-balance. They are a people that are very resourceful and can take care of themselves. Leave them alone, and they will find a balance. Americans need to get over the idea that only we can bring stability to the world.
America, exit stage right.