2012 will be the year of predictions.1 Nostradamus will be discussed a lot this coming year even though he isn’t a Mayan. Western civilization has always had a love/hate relationship with witches, wizards, and fortune tellers.2 Once again in 2012, “we” will become fascinated with predictions.
Supposedly, December 21, 2012, is the day the world ends. I have nothing new to add to the whole Mayan calendar prophecy discussion.3 I am not an expert on Mesoamerican civilizations, nor am I really sure what separates the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000BC-250AD) from the Classic period (c. 250AD-900AD).4 I do know that these periods roughly correspond with the rise (and eventual fall) of the Greek city states,5 and then the infantile beginning of modern European civilization.6 If you were a Greek basking in the glory of your intellectual and military might… the world really did end the day Alexander rode into town. If you were a European pagan eking a living out in the Puszcza Bialowieska forest,7 the world ended when Miesko I converted to Christianity.
Specific dates on past calendars tell us more about ourselves than the hocus pocus8 of future dates. One important date is June 18, 2004. This is day the U.S., for the first time, admitted to using Predator drones to strike terrorist targets in Pakistan.9 In this strike Nek Muhammad Wazir10 ate a missile11… in an odd turn of diplomacy, Pakistan’s army claimed responsibility for this attack. This is especially odd considering Pakistan’s present feelings toward U.S. attacks on their country’s sovereign soil.
Since June 18, 2004, the U.S. has attacked targets within Pakistan 283 times with total casualties ranging from 1,717 to 2,680. Between 2004 and 2011, the U.S. has, on average, attacked targets within Pakistan 35 times annually. The peak year of U.S. bitch slapping Pakistan’s pride was 2010, when there were 118 Predator strikes. Regardless of how porous the Pakistan/Afghanistan border is, I don’t think the U.S. military and CIA lie to themselves and say that these strikes are happening in Afghanistan. Arguably, critics and strategists state that we are not just at war with Afghanistan, but we are also at war with Pakistan.
Pakistan isn’t spelled like Cambodia, but it seems to have some resemblance. Between 1969 and 1979, the Republic of Vietnam12 and the U.S. bombed and briefly invaded13 Cambodia. This bombing and invasion was meant to disrupt and displace the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge.14 Now, as in the late 60s and early 70s, we are attacking bad guys in one country (Pakistan) that are also engaged in fighting us in another (Afghanistan). Same shit, different day.
Another important date concerning Predator drone strikes in Pakistan is June 3, 2009. Approximately, 5 years after getting our Predator on in Waziristan,15 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)16 issued a report that criticized the U.S. tactic of using drones to kill terrorists. Basically, the report stated the U.S. wasn’t keeping an accurate accounting of innocent civilian deaths.17 The overall theme of this report was the U.S. really shouldn’t be bombing the shit out of an ally.
In my mind, I like to turn this whole Predator drone strike thing around. I wonder how the U.S. government and public would feel if an American was identified as a terrorist by the Pakistani government and then this American was killed by agents (or equipment) of the Pakistani government… on U.S. soil.18 Some things don’t ring right or true. A country, and supposed ally, would never get away with killing an American citizen, even an American terrorist, on American soil. I guess when you have the largest balls in the world you can go around kicking and slapping whomever you want.
Regardless of laws and the assumed rights and wrongs of warfare, Predator drone strikes in Pakistan don’t ring right. Holistically, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a liberal democracy would do, even to terrorists.19 One could argue that the continued, and increased,20 use of the Predator drone as a terrorist obliterating weapon of choice is a slippery slope. Conducting undeclared wars in the name of national security is one thing, assassination by a Predator firing a Hellfire 21 missile seems to move into the scary realm of surreal expansion of presidential power.
The world may end on December 21 of this year. But odds are that some terrorists, and potentially some innocent civilians22, in Pakistan will not need to use ink in their day planners for dates that even get close to the date of 12/21/12. Calendars and dates are important, and predictions are easy if one is considering America’s use of military force. If you have $20, I will provide you with a 2012 prediction that includes tons of Mayan calendar bullshit, Nostradamus documentaries, and about 35 Predator strikes in Pakistan.
1. I deplore predictions and soothsaying. It is nothing more than bullshit sold as the legitimate shit. Nostradamus wasn’t the first of the bullshitters, but he is definitely the most famous. Hopefully, one day I can join the bullshitter’s Hall of Fame.
2. Along with prostitutes, societies think magical people are both fascinating and deplorable. Which is exactly what gypsies are supposedly the masters of… just ask Cher – she is an expert on gypsies, tramps, and thieves. Today, approximately $20 can get your fortune told… all within the confines of a palm reader’s shop (usually situated in strip malls, double-wide trailers, and normal looking brick split levels abutting main thoroughfares). When we aren’t busy getting our palms read, we are busy, figuratively and literally, burning them at the stakes.
3. Except this: If 20th century nerds were incapable of ensuring computers’ internal clocks would register the correct date as the 21st century was ushered in, why would we expect Mayan priests to be any better in making a “clock” that ran forever?
4. Mayan civilization began approximately during the Pre-Classic period and reached its apex during the Classic period.
5. Think philosophizing men in togas, and nekkid men with spears and shields.
6. Think fat power-hungry Christian clergymen in wool robes, and unwashed, but clothed, men with spears and shields.
7. This is a very old forest region that lies between Poland and Belarus.
8. If you think eating specific foods on New Year’s Day will bring you “luck” then you are a hocus pocus type of person. If you participate in this lucky food eating as a tradition… then you are paying homage to the idea that something other than yourself is responsible for your actions and life.
9. June 18, 2004, is also the day President Bush continued to say Iraq had ties to al-Qaeda (despite the absence of evidence), the Senate authorized the U.S. Army to be expanded by 20,000, and the House authorized a $10 billion buyout for U.S. tobacco farms. Additionally, “admitted” is a loosey-goosey term… it is doubtful the public will ever know the real date the U.S. first used a Predator drone in Pakistan for attacking terrorist targets.
10. Nek Muhammad Wazir was a Pakistani Pashtun warlord who allegedly ran military training camps for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
11. Along with Nek Muhammad Wazir, two children also died.
12. RVN was the “good” guy in Vietnam. This was the puppet dictatorship we supported so, as JFK said, we could show the Soviet we weren’t fuckin’ around.
13. Not really sure what “briefly” means, a country is either invaded or it isn’t. This is like the fact you can’t be sorta pregnant; you are either knocked-up or you ain’t.
14. The Khmer Rouge were Cambodian communist rebels, led by Pol Pot, that eventually toppled the Cambodian government. I guess a little bombing and invading didn’t deter them.
15. Waziristan is the Pakistan region where we predominantly feed Predator missiles (the terrorist breakfast cereal of choice) to bad guys.
16. Who really gives a shit what the UN has to say… right?
17. Who really gives a shit about innocent civilians… right?
18. When I do this deadly daydreaming, I always imagine it happening on a golf course. In my mind’s eye, I am part of this American terrorist’s foursome (obviously it is a random golf course pairing… I would never play golf with a terrorist voluntarily) and I am standing to the side of the 12th green (I am about to drop a 15 foot birdie putt… of course) when out of nowhere this golfing terrorist douchebag disappears in a hellish explosion of flames and smoke. I am literally blown out of my Adidas golf shoes, but otherwise unscathed. However, I will (for the rest of my life) have the greatest “no shit, you won’t believe this” golf story ever. This really becomes something to ponder, if you include the deaths of innocent Americans who happen to be standing around the golf course… like a 17 year-old golf cart girl.
19. Forgive me for sounding a bit naive and Ron Paul-like.
20. President GW Bush killed (killed as in he approved the strike) approximately 400 suspected terrorists, whereas President Obama has approved the killing of approximately 2000. This is the little nugget that I like to use when people try to talk about President Obama’s spinelessness, or his inability to adequately “protect” America… this is a prime example of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
21. Best comment to this youtube video is “… i don’t think his Taliban Auto Insurance covers HELLFIRE MISSILES!!! …”
22. What sort of bad fucking luck one must have if one evening you are watching the Venus Talent Show in Lahore on television and the next moment you are rendered dead by Predator because a terrorist lives the next door.