Monday, August 16, 2004


I spent three hours sitting in the waiting room at the mechanics on Saturday waiting for my car to be finished. I had to turn in the rental car before the 24 hours were up or they would've charged me for an extra day. So I cooled my jets watching Al Jazeera with Elie the lovely man who owns the garage where my car goes when it's sick.

Elie is from Lebanon. He is Catholic. He thinks all muslims are evil. He ordered Al Jazeera from Dishnet because he can understand arabic. I cannot, but he translated for me. I said that they should have it with english sub-titles so that all of us ethnocentric english only speakers here in the U.S. could see what the perspective is via middle east news stations. Elie said that the government here won't allow that. I am not surprised. They show stuff on Al Jazeera that we know nothing about. For instance on Saturday an oil field in Iraq was blown up. That makes a bigass fire when an oil field is blown. I don't think even Red Adair could've put that puppy out. I worried for the humans that might be near by having to breathe toxic air. They also show a lot of graphic violence - dead bodies lying in red rivers of blood. Children and babies. I had to look away, but I didn't turn my head in time and they also hold the camera on those images while the commentater speaks over.

They had a tape of Muqtada Al-Sadr with his bandaged hand speaking about how the U.S. is the enemy of Islam. He stared at the camera from under a simian ridge of brow with dark shadows under his eyes. There is a psychotic intensity in his thorazine glare. They definitely don't have political spin doctors in the Shiite party. But I guess they don't really need them. It's kind of a zealots are us situation. And although Elie and I do not agree about the decision to go into Iraq, we do agree that poverty is the root cause of the majority of problems in the world.

It probably benefits terrorist organizations that so many people are starving and living in sub-human conditions because to them "an honorable death" that will get not only them, but their relatives into heaven would seem like a reasonable option to starving and living in squalor watching your family starve. I would imagine it seems like the only active thing one can do to make their lives better - strap on a bomb, or hi-jack a plane, kill some infidels and get free passes into heaven for those you love.

I cannot relate to that kind of decision making process. It seems like insanity to me, yet it happened - almost 3 years ago. And they are working to make it happen again. Despite what this government says, or what it tells the media to say, there is nothing that they can do to stop it. We are not safer. It's a whole new neo-con world and now terrorism is part of our consciousness. And I am watching with great interest to see what happens in the months leading up to the election. I would not be surprised to see any or all of the following things happen:

Dick Cheney is replaced on the Republican ticket by Rudy Guiliani.

Osama Bin Laden is "captured" and trotted out (from whatever dark cell they've been keeping him in)

E-voting is allowed throughout the state of Florida, particularly in those districts with large populations of black voters - and George Bush wins in all those districts.

Fox News announces that George Bush is victorious - on November 1.

I know those things sound crazy - but it's a crazy world, so you wanna bet?

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