It has been a very long time since I last posted. Much of the delay coincided with the last few weeks' of my girlfriends' presence in AZ, but the last three weeks I took off from LJ entirely, while I gathered my thoughts, reined in my anger, and made certain that events did not overtake me.
Make no mistake; I am grateful that my finger is not on the Big Red Switch of Thermonuclear Devestation. Because I would have pushed it at roughly 10:30 AM, EST, with the collapse of the second Trade Center Tower. I don't think I would have stopped until I knew that every square mile between Isreal and India was a smoking glowing hole in the ground.
That would have been wrong.
I don't know that I would have cared.
I kept my silence, and prayed that New York and Washington DC, as horrible as the events were, were the end. As the airports reopened, and curbside checkin returned across the nation, I have kept silence. Now, and only now, is it time to speak.
[Ed. Note: This entry was edited 8Oct01. I made a brown-paper-bag error, mistakenly typing "Pakistan" when I had meant "Palestine", in the first sentence of the following paragraph. The error was not one of my head, but of my fingers. I swear I know the difference between those two countries. Honest.]
The hopes of the Palestinian people for an autonomous nation are probably now futile. I find myself growing tired of listening to Arafat's platitudes while his own organization is taking potshots at Isreali women. It stuns me that Isreal has remained restrained in terms of military response; They could very easily have taken back Palestinian territory and America wouldn't have blinked.
I find Pakistan's recent cooperation with American policy to be suspect, if not actually disingenuous. Pakistani Muslims regularly start shooting matches with India over the Kashmir province. Pakistan is a known violator of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Protocols. It is also one of the three nations to recognize the Taliban militia as the proper government of Afghanistan. The Pakistani government has never given two sh*ts about our position, but when the Whuppin' of the Century is coming, they were the first ones to roll over. Our eyes, as a nation, must remain focused firmly on Pakistan, now and in the future; he who capitulates once will capitulate again.
Saudi Arabia needs to be watched as well. Osama bin Laden is Saudi-born, from a Saudi family, and it is an openly-known secret that he visits his family in Saudi Arabia on a regular basis, most recently six weeks ago to be at his sister's wedding. We have wanted bin Laden's head on a pike for over four years now, but have our Saudi allies ever stopped his movements? Have they ever made the first effort to even *slow* his money supply? Has the Saudi government even made the most general efforts to ensure that their citizens were not sending money to the world's most wanted criminal? No. Never. None.
Vincente Fox, to his credit, knows when to shut the f*ck up. I haven't heard a peep out of him about his plan to unilaterally open the US-Mexican border to immigration, legal and illegal.
If he has good sense, he'll keep it that way for a Good Long Time.
I find the sudden rash of support for our President disheartening. The *best* that can be said is that his VP, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defence are Good Men In A Storm, and will tell Dubya to stick to the script, and not try to think and talk at the same time. However, that is not the popular chant of the day. A full 91% of the nation support him, and nearly 51% feel that it is unpatriotic to protest military action, according to a recent USA Today poll conducted by the AP. (I got that in this Monday's paper. I don't know the date, but today is Thursday.) Support for broader police powers in the hands of the FBI is widespread.
That, ladies and gents, frightens me no end.
The FBI is not our friend. Ever since the days of J Edgar Hoover, the FBI has used their investigative powers to spy on those whom the Powers That Be found convenient to spy on. It is documented that they had extensive files regarding nearly every pop-culture icon from the 1920's into the 1970's, and there is no reason to believe that they suddenly stopped. With the Carnivore system in place (Guess what, class. The FBI is reading your email. Right now. No, no search warrant necessary. Search warrants are only required if they intend to introduce the evidence found in court. If they just want to harrass you, and invade your privacy, they have that priveledge. Ain't America grand?), they have the technical capability to monitor every single communication *everywhere* in the USA. That includes data traveling over US-owned servers. That includes data traveling over US-owned satellites. (Satellites are not monitored by Carnivore, but rather Eschelon) It also includes data traveling in or through Canada, Britain, and just about every NATO member nation.
In short, if you want to have any privacy at all anymore, you'll have to do what bin Laden does. Talk only to people you trust, and only in person. Don't use emails. Don't use the phones. Stay either in the Middle of Nowhere, or the center of the city.
If I sound like one of the paranoid "Big Brother is Watching" types, it's because I am. I see the legislation that gets introduced. I see the advances in technology, having been on both sides of the cryptography game. I pay attention to what the goverment is doing, becuase vigilance is the cost of freedom. I intend, come Hell or high water, to die free. I hope that you who read this intend the same.
Until next time, be well friends.
-The Page of Swords