America’s Gotta Shop


Stumbled across an interesting piece by Raja Abdulrahim in the Los Angeles Times this morning.   Abdulrahim’s premise, is that ISIS is just one of any number of Islamist groups in the Middle East and Asia, and she writes, “the dearth of endorsements by many of the largest and most recognizable groups serves to underscore the limits of the newcomer’s grand ambition.”

In other words, ISIS is the new kid on the terrorist block and they haven’t yet gained the approval of well-established terrorist heavy-hitters.    The point is also made, that American airstrikes on ISIS are making the newbie terrorists stronger by driving more support to their ranks.

As with so many of our operations in the Middle East,  we once again appear to be our own worst enemy.

It’s an interesting and enlightening piece.   Too bad Americans don’t read anymore.   Too bad tv news no longer thinks their job is to educate and enlighten the American people, who are preoccupied with….what?

Not that tough to figure out.  Turn on your tv for more than five or six minutes and wait for the commercial onslaught.   It began with the many pre-Thanksgiving sales, followed by Thanksgiving Day itself, with sales that drew millions of Americans away from their families on our national day of…….something or another.  I really can’t remember.   I believe it has to do with giving thanks that only half of all Americans are living at or near the poverty line. 

That, however, was only a minor sequel to the  blow-out spectaculars of “Black Friday!”   The long lines of tryptophan-dazed shoppers were forming overnight.   We then plowed bravely ahead into the weekend sales that proceed the new 800-pound marketing gorilla, Cyber Monday.   Whatever the hell that’s supposed to be.   After that comes a never-ending line of superficial sales designed to continue drawing shoppers to the stores to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need as we head into Christmas, our national season of forgiveness and brotherly love.

How many women, children and other non-combatants were blown to bits by American bombs in Iraq by our mostly Christian nation?   Does anyone other than the Iraqis who will spend their next several generations hating America and all things American, even care?   Is it possible that the United States needs to lead by example, beginning with a disengagement from all military operations in the Middle East and North Africa, rather than continuing this endless cycle of violence begetting violence?   Is that just possible?   Maybe.  Chances are it doesn’t matter.

You can’t expect any society to pay attention to a theoretical argument about the futility of ongoing airstrikes against terrorists in the Middle East with all that marketing going on.

Oh no.   Too much to expect.  America’s gotta shop.

And then, at some future date when the crazies again fly planes into our buildings or release a dose of ricin gas in one of our subway tunnels, we can all just blame the CIA and call up the Guard for extended overseas deployment in some 2000 year-old dispute between tribal elements with cultural implications we are unable to fully fathom because the nation has stopped reading and been so dumbed down and misinformed as to believe that the marketing madness they watch on tv every day actually matters.

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