Three days. Three updates.
I’ve been doing some thinking on the “War on Terror.” I think it’s got all the makings of a Second Cold War. For one, the way I often think of the first Cold War is as a time of paranoia, of worry over the threat of war. It was also a time of sides. Nations were either on the side of the Commies, the Reds, the Iron Curtain, or they were on the side of the US of A, the West, NATO. Finally, it was a time of an economy weakened by all the money spent on military escalation, with no political resolution to assuage the anxiety.
Now, we again have all those factors. National worry and paranoia. The possibility of war. The new sides are still a little blurry, especially with nations like Saudi Arabia and even Turkey riding the fence a bit. But a few possibilities are: The US vs everyone else; The Muslim world vs everyone else; Al Qaeda vs everyone else; The US, Britain, and Israel vs the rest of the Middle East; etc, etc. Things are still shaking out. I think it’ll still be a while before we see what Afghanistan is going to look like in the long term. And Iraq might look totally different politically in a year. Or, it might look exactly the same. I suppose another possibility of Us vs Them could be US vs Independent Rogue Nation A, US vs Independent Rogue Nation B, US vs Independent Rogue Nation C. Wait — I forgot. George Bush already summed up every possibility I’ve listed here. The US vs the Axis of Evil.
We managed to get from 1991 to 2001 with no Cold War. And it was also a time when we had a pretty good economy. Now we’re right back in Cold War mode: weakened economy due to military escalation and an economy waiting for the other shoe to drop.