Monday, April 14, 2008

We Are All Connected

Perhaps it is an irrational thought, but I feel like our country has created a global mess of historic proportions. That sounds dramatic, I know, and perhaps a little exaggerated, but I think we Americans need to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. Or maybe wake up and smell the large pie of cow shit in our living rooms.

I just read an article about how the world, especially developing nations, are hurting from inflation on food. Riots are ensuing because people can't feed their families. Our own people here in the United States are feeling the pinch as well, though we certainly are faring better than the third world countries.

I was reminded last week of the fuel prices we had six years ago - December 2001, Los Angeles saw a gallon of 87 unleaded for $1.00. We are now looking at $3.75. In fact, since we invaded Iraq in 2003, gas has more than doubled (in March of 2003, the national average was around $1.50/gallon. We are now at around $3.30/gallon). If you look at the 6 year chart, it's been an uphill climb the entire time. If we are paying this much more, you can bet your ass the rest of the world is paying this much more, in varying degrees. Sure, we can go on about other external pressures like higher demand in China, India, etc. They have a hand in this mess, that can't be denied. However, if we hadn't invaded Iraq, I don't believe we'd be paying 270% more after 6 years. That is 45% increase year over year. I know those countries are growing, but they are NOT growing at that rate. There is more afoot here than just China and inflation.

If we can agree the Iraq war has a hand in fuel prices, then we can assume our decision to go to war has affected the cost of fuel for the entire world. This in turn, has a hand in the steep increase in global food prices, causing pain, hunger, and rioting in poorer nations. I don't think I am being irrational with this argument. We are active participants in more than just the unrest in Iraq. Our choices have global effects - huge rippling effects. We have the largest economy in the world - stupid choices we make hurt the rest of the world.

And frankly, I am ashamed. I know I did not make these decisions. I know I was yelling at the radio and the TV during 2003 when we were lied to about WMDs. But I am still a citizen of this country. It is my country and we are causing pain to the world. I can only say "I Told You So" for so long before it stops making me feel better. When November rolls around I will again exercise my ability to choose - though that has proven to be useless in the last 2 elections. What else can we do as concerned Americans? Just because 51% of the country chose the bumbling idiot again, does that mean 49% of us are wrong and need to just follow the rest of the lemmings off a cliff? I need to know what I can do because if it happens that in November, I cast another futile vote that changes nothing, I will have lost all hope that I can change anything. I will have lost hope in this country.

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