You might think this is a repeat of my report about the raging fires in Portugal, earlier this month, but it’s not. The situation has actually gotten worse, if that could be possible. Some 400 incidents reported over the weekend, the country is in terrible shape.
For some reason, only now has the country appealed to the European Union under some civil defence clause, that allows them to receive help for combatting the fires that are completely out of control across the nation. Germany is sending helicopters, France is sending water-dropping-planes. Even Spain, who has had some bad fires this summer as well, is sending those famous Canadair firefighting planes.
I found myself fascinated by the pathetic nature of politicians who habitually act as if they know what’s going on in times of crises, as I watched the Prime Minister sit with Portuguese firefighting commanders as they examined maps and talked strategy. As if the man has anything useful to add to the meeting. Its just like when GWBush went down to 9/11 to hang out with firefighters, its not like he had ever fought a fire in his life. Yet that’s part of their job. Career politicians, who go around pretending they know about the environment, world history, science, economics.. you know, all the subjects they probably slept through during their days at university.
Spin Spin Spin. It’s always about how they spin the news to make themselves look good. I’m not only talking about governments, I’m talking about all kinds of groups. And unfortunately, spin can be very dangerous, especially when it rewrites history and distorts facts.
The most recent example of this, what is going on right now in Gaza. The Israeli gov. is finally doing what they promised years ago, to leave the area in full control of the Palestinian authority. But sure enough, there’s a spin game to go with it.
Hamas and other militant groups, who have long preached that armed resistance will achieve a palestinian state, are taking these events and giving themselves credit. They give one of those unprovable statements that the Israeli withdrawal is a result of their very effective actions over the years. Of course they can say that, because it’s basically impossible to prove as even if it were true, the government would never admit such a thing.
But then you’ve got the Israeli government that claims this is their benevolent and strategic move. They say it’s necessary for security, and with the usual dose of disrespect, they refer to the Palestinian Authority as irresponsible children saying things like “you must prove you are capable of stopping terrorism… or else.”
Spin Spin Spin. Neither side wants to look weak. And the truth is… both sides are led by violent and weak politicians.
On the brighter side — Michael Moore is working on something related to Health Care in the US — I do hope it’s better than F-911 which was poor-in my opinion- in comparison with his past films.
Back in Amsterdam. Back to floating around the canals with good friends. And back to soaking in the world affairs and getting highly annoyed with events as they unfold.
I haven’t said much about the Iran nuclear issue, because I find it all so annoying and repetative. It starts to seem like every other day the UN makes a statement, the EU makes a statement, the Iranian gov. makes a statement. Repeat this process everyday for months. Of course, this is much better than, say, blowing each other up and killing people. So I’m not advocating some insane warmonger invasion.
But to put it quite simply, and I know these issues are never simple, I just think its silly for nations who have nuclear programs and who actively research new nuclear weapons (the US is working on Manhattan project II since before Clinton)…. its ironic for such nations to dictate to other nations if they can and can not research and build nuclear programs. Its makes very little sense to me, the whole concept that nations who currently have them are responsible, while nations who are trying to get nuclear technology are somehow NOT capable of handling them responsibly.
Now lets take another step back – I’m an avid anti-nuclear person. I hate the weapons, one of the worst mistakes in world history was developing them, and I despise the energy, which produces waste that is undisposable and lethal. But all that aside, looking at the world as-is, I can’t really get gung-go about this whole theory that Iran is somehow unfit to persue their nuclear program because Europe or the US, who did just that years ago, say they know what is best for these nations.
Since king what’s his face of Saudi Arabia just died, Portuguese artsy-fartsy television aired a documentary about the history of Saudi Arabia, and my initial reaction is …goddam! How is it that Americans (including myself) are put through school without ever hearing about this nation that is so completely attached to and influencial on the US!
Among the crazy things I learned from this documentary, the first Saudi king, back in the early 1900’s, actually struck a deal with one of the most extreme and powerful group of nomads ever, who believed in the strict enforcement of what they called the Mulsim religion. But here’s the catch — after the king and the nomads gained control of the entire state, with the blessing of the religious authorities, the King turned on the nomads and slaughtered many of them. Those who survived swore revenge and have periodically carried out attacks (bombs, etc) against the Saudi state well over the last 50 years. And they want to talk about Alqeada, try looking into a lil history and it becomes clear that everything we’re seeing is a repeat of the last 100 years.
The other thing I noted was the presence and the manipulation of the US government on the Saudi Kings. They’ve kept em rich, drunk, and armed since the nation was first founded. and those kings have, in turn, subjugated the entire country, squandered national wealth, and helped to create many generations of terrorists. And man is it alarming to see the amount of times the different american presidents have betrayed the Saudi government when it comes to Palestine! Talk about two currupt kingdoms in bed together… this documentary was an eye opener to a situation we already knew was bullshit.
Mostly unrelated – I think it’s a conspiracy that all the headlines about this plane crash read “Airbus Crash” instead of the flight number or the name of the airline! Seriously. think about it. Ok now stop and go watch TV.
ps — happy birthday busblog.