Power hitters not just for baseball

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Who could forget Frank Sinatra? Some say he was always getting into a fight. One night he entered a club and Don Rickles was onstage. Rickles said, “Make yourself comfortable, Frank, hit somebody.”

Who could forget Frank Sinatra? Some say he was always getting into a fight. One night he entered a club and Don Rickles was onstage. Rickles said, “Make yourself comfortable, Frank, hit somebody.”

Then there was the time someone else punched Sinatra in the face outside the stage door. They say it was the first time the fan hit the…

So much for the good old days, though they were not so different from today. National politics makes itself comfortable by “hitting somebody” every day. As long as your party retains control of the House, call your opponents stupid and throw around blame. Invent your own truth, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is control, especially around election time. Does it all sound familiar?

It also sounds like the Middle East. It’s where “eagles may soar,” as they say, “but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.” So the weasels have been in charge for some time—the repressive dictators, that is. Democracy — the soaring eagles — might sound great, but we’ve hardly really supported it, because it’s not what brought in the cash.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine, as the saying goes. So forget change, what we want is stability — at least, when we’re in control and the money is coming our way. It’s our Mideast strategy, and it’s worked for years in the region that our State Department of the 1940s said was “probably the richest economic prize in the world in the field of foreign investment,” a prize we intended to keep for ourselves in the New World Order, all according to MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s advisor A.A. Berle said that control of the incomparable energy reserves of the Middle East would yield “substantial control of the world.” From that time on, the U.S. positioned itself to dominate the Western hemisphere, the Far East, and the former British Empire. In this so-called Grand Area, we gave ourselves license for military intervention at will — again, according to Chomsky.

As declared by the Clinton administration, the U.S. had the right to use military force to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.” Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. And you’d better be nice to us Americans. Otherwise, there’ll be bodies to move.

Diplomacy is the art of saying “good doggie” while looking for a bigger stick.

The U.S. and its Western allies seem ready to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. Seventy-five percent of Arabs regard the U.S. and Israel as their major threats, and only 10 percent regard Iran as a threat.

Most Arabs, in fact, believe that security would improve if Iran had nuclear weapons. They feel that the U.S. supports dictatorships and blocks democracy and development, to ensure control over the resources of the region. That explains our opposition to Iran’s reach for nuclear weapons — though the U.S. and others have them.

Be nice to your kids. They’ll choose your nursing home. And be nice to the U.S. We’ll choose your leaders — for the sake of stability, of course — stability that favors our interests. Even NATO is said to be a U.S.-run intervention force, to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas directed for the West, and to protect sea routes crucial to energy.

Does all of this sound too hard on the U.S.? Well, nothing of course is black and white. Frank Sinatra certainly had a gentle side. And weasels must be likeable creatures once you get to know them. Even power hitters in baseball have their strikeouts. It takes more than brute force to win a game. Power corrupts, after all. And absolute power often goes out during a really bad thunderstorm.

Kozeny has worked as a teacher, counselor, and in pastoral ministry. He can be reached by e-mail to tkozfreespirit@netzero.net.