Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finally A War For Oil?

I am a proponent of what the United States & N.A.T.O. are doing in Libya, but wasn't this simply supposed to be a humanitarian mission to setup a no-fly zone to protect civilians? One where we were not taking sides or getting involved in an apparent non-war civil war? The establishment of this no-fly zone seems wholly different from ones of the past, Kosovo and Iraq during the 1990s instantly springing to mind. The U.S. and N.A.T.O. have become little more than air support – an essential component in any modern military action – in obvious support of and benefit to the opposition forces, bombing strategic installations of government forces separate from the requisites of establishing a no-fly zone.

Obama Backs Libyan Political Pressure To Oust Gaddafi

Now we are going to arm rebels, who coalition forces admittedly know nothing about???

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan faced Congressional investigation over the Iran-Contra affair, in which the administration faced allegations of illegally funneling arms to Iran – who at the time was involved in a six-year old conflict with Iraq and under a U.N. arms embargo – and funding Nicaraguan Contras from those arm sales in violation of U.S. law. Flash forward to 2002, when President George W. Bush was accused of illegally involving the U.S. in the internal struggles of Iraq as part of the broader "War on Terrorism." Now, the Obama Administration appears poised to do both – send arms to rebels, and involve the U.S. in an internal conflict. Openly, and still without Congressional consultation or approval. Guess one must have a short memory as a politician.

Like a majority of people, I am simply confused as to what exactly is the mission in Libya and the apparent hypocritical disconnect in undertaking it. Why only Libya? Why not other places whose governments are slaughtering their people? Is this precedent for future interventions, or a blind eye to those situations? In 1990, President George H.W. Bush formed a coalition against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, touted by opponents as an alleged “war for oil” conflict due to that country’s oil production. In 2002, his son, the aforementioned George W., led another coalition against Iraq, and again opponents labeled it a “war for oil” conflict. As evidenced by history, neither affected the oil industry such nomenclature would dictate; examining gas prices throughout both, quite the opposite in fact. Now, the U.S. finds itself involved in Libya whose primary export is oil, which begs the question – is third time the charm?

©2011 Steve Sagarra

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ignoring Only Makes It Fester

In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved covert action against the Castro regime in Cuba, with the stated primary objective to "bring about the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the true interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the U.S. in such a manner to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention." In April 1961, President John F. Kennedy then approved Operation Zapata – more infamously known as the Bay of Pigs invasion plans – in order to carry out that objective. Regrettably, the Kennedy Administration, in a half-hearted attempt to both lead and maintain anonymity in its role, failed to provide adequate – and pledged – support in personnel, supplies and logistics. Accordingly, the invasion failed miserably.

The Bay of Pigs invasion is a lesson of history that has haunted every administration since. It would seem, however, that the current administration is not heeding the lessons of such half-hearted attempts at regime change, particularly as concerns Libya. In fact, vacillating statements concerning the role and objectives of the U.S. in dealing with Libya and the Qaddafi regime makes the U.S. and its president look impotent, and only serves to strengthen a third world dictator. A dictator who has ruled for 42 years, and is a well-documented advocate, harborer and sponsor of terrorists. Administration officials – including the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – have directly called for the removal of Qaddafi, citing it as U.S. policy, and then contradicted, and thus weakened, that position by advocating the limited objectives of the so-called humanitarian-only mission of the international coalition arrayed against Libya. There is no way to reconcile and interpret such dynamically opposed pronouncements, other than to see them as yet another administration beset by a practically non-existent foreign policy rooted in timidity and indecisiveness.

Rather than doing nothing or, worse, leaving it to the international community, i.e. the Useless Nations, to (mis)handle international crises, many are open to the United States being the policeman of the world. Like the motto of the U.S. Navy says, “as a force for good.” Others do not agree, advocating a U.S.-first foreign policy that leaves it to international diplomacy, i.e. the Useless Nations, and that does not embroil the nation in the conflicts of other countries. A Neville “peace in our time” Chamberlain attitude, it was the same before both World Wars, before the first Gulf War and even, by some advocates, as the ashes of the World Trade Center still smoldered. Such opposition to U.S.-led military interventions – unilateral or otherwise – is not a modern phenomenon, going as far back as the Barbary Wars – ironically, a series of conflicts off the coasts of North Africa, involving current embattled states Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Indeed, Mr. Twain, history sure does like to rhyme. As the world has become a global one, opposition has only intensified on an international scale both home and abroad in the wars of modern day.

Yet, if we fail to help those hard-pressed in advancing egalitarianism or do not offer assistance to those who attempt to do so, we are nothing more than accomplices in the global suicide caused by oppression and despotism. It was true for Afghanistan, true for Iraq and it is true for the likes of Libya. And it is true for any future hotspot that becomes a focal point in casting off the yoke suppressing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That much is certain, and indeed – through toil, blood and sacrifice – has always been the destiny of the United States since its inception to aid those seeking similar ideals. As President Kennedy stated in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

Fifty years later, are we, as a nation, no longer willing to honor that call? Are we once again going to put on blinders to the threats of the world, just as we did after both World Wars, after the first Gulf War and even as we continue to prosecute the War on Terrorism?

©2011 Steve Sagarra

Thursday, March 17, 2011

That Crazily Karmic Synching Feeling

Typically, I am a logical skeptic. Yet, in two previous posts (“Coincidence, Synchronicity, Karmic or Crazy?” & “What Would Jack Shephard Do?”), I noted a weird, if not crazy, phenomenon repeatedly occurring to me. It centered around sporadically, if not consistently, seeing the numbers “222” and “343,” usually on a clock in the form of “2:22” or “3:43.” [For further info, check out www.222mystery.com, www.1111angels.com or www.greatdreams.com/222.htm] Frankly, it was driving me nuts, along with other peripheral coincidences explained in the aforementioned blogs.

I may have found an explanation. As an experiment, I fiddled with the ideas found in Numerology. Breaking the numbers down to their basic, I correlated them to their numerological representation. If I haven’t lost you yet or you haven’t phoned the psychiatric hospital to see if a patient is missing, this is what I came up  with:

Taken as a whole:

222 (2 + 2 + 2 = 6)

343 (3 + 4 + 3 = 10 = 1 + 0 = 1)

61 (6 + 1 = 7)

In numerology, 6 = Responsibility; 1 = Individual; 7 = Thought & Consciousness

Divided into parts:

2:22 (2 = 2; 2 + 2 = 4)

3:43 (3 = 3; 4 + 3 = 7)

2437 (2 + 4 + 3 + 7 = 16 = 1 + 6 = 7)

In numerology, 2 = Balance & Union; 4 = Creation; 3 = Communication & Neutrality; 7 = Thought & Consciousness

Is it coincidence that George Washington was born on February 22 (2/22), and thanks to his perseverance and leadership that the United States came into existence under the newly adopted Constitution in 1789 – 222 years ago? Further, that 343 New York firefighters lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, and that there are 343 commandments related to the Temple of King Solomon - the last known location in the historical record for the Ark of the Covenant - and for worship therein? Of note, the Temple is laid out in a pattern similar in design to the Kabalistic “Tree of Life.” In relation to this, the Mayans’ Long Count Calendar is predicted to “end” on December 21, 2012. Interpreted as either a new beginning in human consciousness or the biblical “end of days,” it is to coincide with an alignment of the Sun, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy and the outer universe that will form, as described by the Mayans, a cosmic “Tree of Life” with the Sun at its heart.

Crytalinks – December 12, 2012

So The Maya’s Were Right After All

Last Wave of the Mayan Calendar

Now, if I still haven’t lost you and you haven’t even thought about the phone, this is my interpretation:  individual balance and unity through communication and neutrality leads to the creation of responsibility in thought and consciousness. More concise, thoughts are aligned with the truth, and “as a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Bhagavad Gita, 2:22) Could this be the approaching destiny of humanity? A unity of consciousness that sees the casting off of the old world for a new enlightened one? 

Again, I ask...coincidence, synchronicity, karmic or crazy? 

©2011 Steve Sagarra

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Proper Punishment = Balanced Budget

Excuse me if my math is wrong; I did attend, proudly, public school. The justice system in the United States is pathetic in terms of actual justice. From the ordinary citizen to law enforcement, this is not a revelation. John Q. Nobody serves a mandatory maximum sentence – commonly without the possibility of parole – for felony possession of a few grams of recreational-use marijuana, while child murderers and cop killers plea bargain lighter sentences and walk free after a few years thanks to “good behavior.” How is it that the crime of murder, especially those confessed and unremorsed, do not carry an automatic death penalty?

With Eye Toward Savings, Assembly Takes Up Prison Terms

Life Without Parole For Shepard; Jury Decides Against Death Sentence In Killing Of Officer

Father of Murdered 5-Year-Old Says He'll Make Sure Killer Suffers Same Fate

Across the nation, local and state governments are in the midst of budget crises, as the federal government attempts to prevent a shutdown thanks to its own financial woes. Want to balance these budgets? First, stop spending taxpayer money on incarcerated murderers guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, and do to them what they did to their victims. Such scum deserves neither to live nor benefit from society’s moral goodwill. In this way, we can literally kill two birds with one stone:  balance the budget and thin the population of those who forfeited their lives the second they took another’s.

A balanced budget is what taxpayers want; justice is what society demands. Frankly, the argument that a sentence of “life in prison” is cheaper than a one-time execution has never seemed economically sound. Must be the new math. Before the 20th century, there was no such thing as the national deficit. At least, people did not concern themselves with it. Justice was also swift, and unremitting for the most heinous. Probably because rope and bullets are cheap. As Charlie Sheen might say, sounds like a winning proposition.

©2011 Steve Sagarra