Monday, July 30, 2012

Last Kind Words

Baggage carousel at Detroit International. Dozens of bags spin and crash. The carousel's choked as more bags pour in.

Weather delays caused this crush. Everyone's late, too tired to be testy. Resigned expressions above the stack.

A guy to my left grabs then tosses bags. He's looking for his, but none look alike. Either he travels heavy, or has trouble discerning shapes.

He's mid-50's. Sneakers, plaid shorts, white sports shirt. He grins a lot. An odd grin, more confused than amused. A decided overbite adds a comic touch.

He wears a dark blue Romney for President cap. I almost feel sorry for him. Openly backing Romney? Who does such a thing?

I try not to judge. Still, is this who Romney attracts? Someone who throws other people's bags around, smiling like a goof?

Not that it matters to me. I'm watching this election underwater. Bullshit rises to the surface, floats out to sea.

I'm also distant from the angry debate over Syria among various radicals. Is it a revolution or contra war? Those I'm closest to say the former, and I tend to agree.

But I don't see NATO as a revolutionary force. Not even in a realpolitik way. But then I'm not on the front lines. There you take what you can get. Ask the Kurds.

No matter what I or my friends think, we don't affect those front lines. It's grandiose to believe that we do.

We help pay NATO's bills. Maybe some of that flows into rebel accounts. But that's the extent of it. Still, venomous exchanges continue. Being on the Right Side of history is not a happy task.

I'm not blind to the shifts now occurring. The Arab world is shedding despotic skin, but for what? For whom? When the US claims something is "democratic," look for the sniper in the room. He's there. He always is.

Less touted is Latin America's steady extraction from US influence. While not as dramatic as the Arab Summer -- though no less violent -- Latin America moves in a more independent direction. US power is waning.

This is good. It may also prove dangerous. We are renowned sore losers. Heavily-armed. Favored by God. Simple lethal math.

Resistance from within grows, emerging from the seeds planted by Occupy. That movement has been mocked and mourned, but it had an effect. The state crushed what it could. Yet these weren't fatal blows.

Mainstream liberals fear that Occupy's example might hurt Obama's re-election. Pundits like Harold Meyerson and Sean Wilentz defensively dismiss radical critiques of Their President. I like it that they're scared, but they needn't be. Not yet, anyway.

An American Spring at the start of Obama's second term? As Obama's predecessor and Terror War influence put it, bring it on. The mission is far from accomplished.