Monday, August 14, 2006


I am by no means a political writer. I don't know enough to offer my substantiated opinions on current events but as this world's future becomes progressively more uncertain, I am left with no other choice but to pay attention. Unfortunately, my newfound awareness is inspired by fear.

"It could be the end of the world as we know it," Ilan said last night.
His wife Dana wants to move far away from the city because she thinks Manhattan could be the first target in an unavoidable world war.
"Just think about it," she said, "the first targets are New York, Washington, and maybe California."

So do we just pick up and change our lives because of the possibility that something bad may happen, I ask?
"Yes," Dana said. "Absolutely."

Ilan and Dana had dinner with an ex-Israeli soldier who wasn't very optimistic about the global climate (and not in the same way as Al Gore isn't). This soldier believed that something pretty substantial would happen sooner than later and we need to diffuse it quickly even if it means preemptive action.

Preemptive action is not pretty terminology.

Substantial, I asked?
"Yeah, like nuclear weapons," Ilan said.

Shana and I walked home quite discomforted.
"Who wants to bring children into a world like this," Shana wondered aloud?
And I wasn't equipped with an answer. We don't seem to be moving towards any resolution. Like bullies in a schoolyard, the world prefers antagonism to resolution except we don't use the threat of fists, we hint at the prospect of nuclear armament. And as naive as this may read, I spend my days dreaming about the internet swiftly indoctrinating the more war-inclined cultures with the better aspects of Western philosophy and modernization. I fantasize about Iran saying, These Americans. They're not so bad after all.

My sister leaves on a trip to Israel next week. Needless to say, I'm not pleased. With her, she takes her four boys and her husband, or my nephews and brother-in-law. I expressed my disapproval on the phone.
Obviously, I don't think this is a good idea and you don't have my enthusiastic encouragement, I said.
"Understood," she said back. "But we've spoken to everyone there and they all say, it's okay to come."
I could think of other vacation spots. Like Great Adventure.
"Look, we'll avoid the North. We planned this trip months ago and we can't just back out now. This is an important trip."

Dana wants to leave New York.
My sister wants to go to Israel.
Me, I just want to stop being afraid.


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