Thursday, March 09, 2006

Americans Won't Accept a Draw, EVER

When you play a game of chess, there are three possible outcomes: you win, you lose, or you draw. In a tournament of chess, you score one point for a win, zero points for a loss, and half a point for a draw. Savvy players, if sufficiently ahead in points, can opt to play for a draw if caught in a difficult game, and still win the tournament.

Americans, in any game except chess, never play for a draw. To an American, a draw is as bad as a loss. If you don't win, you're considered a loser.

This is part of why Americans do not like professional soccer. It is unbelievably frustrating to us to watch 90+ minutes of guys running only to see the game end with both teams being equal. They might as well have just run onto the field and had a big wet soccer-circle-jerk in center field (football-circle-jerk to you Euros.) The National Hockey League used to have ties as well, but the new rules this season say NO TIES. So games go to a shootout so there is a clear winner, even if just by a lucky shot.

Americans do not believe in competitive egalitarianism, and we loathe compromise. When you're the richest, most militarily powerful nation on the planet by such a wide margin, it's understandable that you expect to always be on top in everything you do. It's egotistical, yes, but no wonder: if things go wrong, we can always buy more stuff to make ourselves feel better. You can be the ugliest loser dork in the country, and you can still pay to fly to the Ukraine and bring home a gorgeous wife.

Americans won't accept a draw, and so it goes with international politics. It's been this way with Bush's mystical "war on terror," in which the United States will never accept anything except complete annihilation of every last living terrorist. Unfortunately for Bush, the only people who are NOT potential terrorists are rich white American fundamentalists. Even I could be a potential terrorist. If the National Republican Socialist Party started goose-stepping around my town, parading tanks around the streets, and overturning desks at Planned Parenthood, I might have to think seriously about blowing something up.

The latest "threat" to international politics is that Iran is seeking to enrich some Uranium. They say it's just for power plants, while Dick Cheney says it's most certainly for blowing up Israel and your baby. Considering the level of credibility with the Bush administration at this point, I tend to lean toward the word of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But that's beside the point here.

There has been a bit of one-upmanship as the US seeks to stop Iran from enriching Uranium, and Iran threatens to break their promise not to, just to show us that they refuse to be strongarmed. It's an understandable response. They just want to be left alone, and maybe flatten Israel. But in this modern world, who DOESN'T want to flatten Israel anymore? Even Quebec is talking about it (that may just be a rumor.)

Iran is maintaining it's diplomatic ties to the outside world. They clearly want to find a compromise. And a draw is possible in this game. But Bush and his chickenhawk friends are black-blooded Americans, and that means NO DRAWS. Judging, too, by the domestic political success of the war in Iraq, at least for the first year after the invasion, I have to believe that military action against Iran is inevitable. Bush's approval ratings are dismally low and his disapproval ratings are reaching recond highs. He needs a war to get people excited about flags again.

This is terrifying. Iran is not the twin brother of Iraq. It's much bigger, much more powerful, and has access to a much wider array of resources. If we start levelling anything we think is a nuclear facility, Americans will become walking targets wherever they go. Invasion of Iran is totally out of the question. To invade might set the stage for the next world war.

As a progressive, I would prefer LESS war, not more. Granted, I have no vested interest in Raytheon or Lockheed-Martin or Halliburton, and certainly the men making these decisions do. Every brown man they kill means one more ivory backscratcher. Nonetheless I think America needs to walk away from this one. Accept a draw and let Iran have their stupid uranium. If we walk away from the fight, we live to blow them up some other day. We know our government is tapping every telephone line in the world at this point, so I have sufficient confidence in our global intelligence network that we're going to know if Iran starts building a nuke. If so, fine, blow it the hell up.

Until then, give our troops a break between stupid wars.


At 12:01 PM, Anonymous GB said...

Also, if you can't win a gold medal, then fall, fall, or just quit.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Ironic that a Canadian would say that. Your men's hockey team couldn't even beat Switzerland (???). Bode Miller is the reigning world champion, you know. He's anything but a loser, just because he had some bad runs in Italy.

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm i think no one will be for any other fighting that US might start. so let's hope that every country out there will stand up this time around and hold back the US from starting another war. i don't know much about the other countries' profit/side on this issue, do u have any confidence in the inernationl community?


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