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August 1st, 2008, 17:26
It's an historically sound point though--America never functions as efficiently as when it is dealing with some targeted threat. It's apparently what it takes to create unity in a country with so much cultural fragmentation.
And it isn't too far-fetched to imagine the Western countries aligning together if faced with a mutual enemy/disaster either--I was reading a book the other day talking about Native American culture, and instead of saying "white Americans", the author used the term Euro-Americans to describe the wave of expansion and conquest which characterized the "settlement" of the American frontier--I thought it was a valid label. America is often thought of as culturally totally separated from Europe, but I think the lines of connection are pretty strong, albeit perhaps more unconscious than not.
Of course, you also have to consider the source--the C.I.A has a rather melodramatic 'super secret spy shit' approach to everything, so they're going to want to have nefarious terrorists to combat--not that there aren't plenty out there, but I 'd like to think that as globalization and inter-related economic interests proliferate, greed will triumph over ideology and the attraction (and effectiveness) of influencing governments and events through fear and destruction will abate instead of increase. The pandemic idea, on the other hand, only grows more plausible as the world gets smaller.
I'd prefer to think that the Davos trend (referring to the WEF, I guess?) were the winner, but who knows. I imagine there are scenarios not on these lists of alternatives from the C.I.A. or Mr. Khanna that could easily turn out to be the reality of the future--f'rinstance, smoking Armageddon.
Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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