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"Pretty, pretty, bird." That's what he said as we stood under the overhead to sheild us from a light, liquid sunshine, Japanese rain. At the time, it seemed inconsequential. Later, after I had become sick, I began to read much more into it. It seemed trivial to hear it, something like that, coming from a man like that. I thought him a bit crazy, but I hung on his every word, because to me he was a superman. He always seemed tired, as if he wasn't sleeping well. It wasn't that we were friends, but I would often see him under the overhead smoking. I think he appreciated the bird, for the moment without war, despite the seemingly continual threat of it. By war, I mean a global nuclear exchange in which all creatures great and small would be annihilated. On my way home from the base exchange, where the officers homes met the enlisted homes, he would often be on his porch smoking. I imagine he is somewhere, as I write, smoking and watching birds. God bless him.

I first realized the power of the internet when I was 23 I think. There is a wealth of information and rumors, that may hold consistency or inconsistency, the two things by which you may draw potential conclusions. I know that sounds borderline retarded to most people, but it is so telling, like watching someone mix yellow and blue paint to make green. I found ways to communicate with persons of far superior intelligence. A professor at Yale whose book I had read and argued with a professor over. ("Polyarchy" -Robert Dahl) Dahl, who will later be remembered as a legend I think, actually emailed me back. I was astonished by the accessability the internet had given me. I didn't own a computer then. I was dirt poor, at a small college in X, often sitting in a dorm room hungry in more ways than one. I was a good boy then.

Now, I open up the pandora's box daily, and look for all the secrets of the world. I have begun an experiment of sorts. I reach across the ocean and talk to the indigenous peoples and gather their opinions about one another to compile the status of international affairs. It is more work than one man can handle. There are, in places, walls of prevention. Language is a huge barrier. I often wonder, particularly when I am talking to persons from a third world country, if I am talking to a typical citizen or someone wealthy. Wealthy at least by their definition, and I wonder what impact that has on their opinions. I have drawn several good conclusions in my study. I will now present them.

1. Americans are losing favor across the board.

2. Russians are gaining favor in the middle east where they were at once despised for their war in Afghanistan. This is due to their recent alignment with China on issues of Iran and oil accessability. Middle Eastern peoples are excited by the prospect of the U.S. having enemies, but do not consider that without the U.S., those "enemy" nations would topple them.

3. Despite hatred for the U.S. and an extreme hatred for Israel, the youth of middle eastern nations desire our culture and would love to visit the U.S. or England to study. (i.e. College) I found this to be perplexing, but understandable. I'd like to study in Israel. So, it's not that surprising. The difference is that I don't hate Israel. The middle easterners either desire knowledge more than they hate the U.S., or they are confused by our influx of culture, particularly music.


4. Our stance is described as "Cowboy Peacekeeper" by English speaking persons in the middle east. I found the title to be suitable and funny.

5. Israel is hated. I had no idea how much they are hated. You can bring up Israel and almost immediately get a strong reaction. When I say that Israel is hated, I mean that they hate their guts.

6. English is being taught at early ages in most foreign countries.

7. They are (foreign countries in general) more astute in international affairs than Americans or the British. (Particularly their youth) In saying this I am not saying that what they know is accurate, but a definite opinion is formulated and seemingly crystalized in older adults. In saying this I am saying that American and English youth are incredibly ignorant of foreign affairs. (Including myself)

Despite all of their bias of America and England, almost all of them would sell their right arm to live here. I have talked foreign persons into betraying their country with promises of bringing them to America. (I stopped doing that as I feared their government may be intercepting the communication and hurt them. I used poker websites, one in particular, and talked around two or three people into committing treason in a period of two weeks.) It was a bad experiment really, an unethical one, and I regret it. I did however forward their poker identity to the C.I.A., but seriously doubt that any of them would make a useful asset. They were merely desperate people. There is an extreme sense of desperation and they are beginning to realize how ignorant they are as a whole. They desire knowledge. Some of them desire peace, but most of the older adults do not and are very hard to find on-line. This is not true of Israelis. You find a lot of Israelis of varying age on-line, but they are very tight lipped when talking about politics. You can obtain more by claiming to be a Jewish American. This tells me that heritage is certainly a driving factor with the nation of Israel. They are, however, able to separate religion and politics. No other middle eastern nation is able to do this. No other middle eastern nation has truly liberated their women. (Or, women there have not been able to liberate themselves) You rarely meet females from middle eastern countries on the internet. It is perhaps forbidden? It makes me wonder how a woman there could even fathom falling in love with men who dominate them in such a way! (Terrible and heartbreaking. They don't know about LOVE, much less romance!)

In toying with the internet and trying to find attitudes of foreign countries I find a spark of hope. They seem surprised that I, or any American, would say something descenting about our President. I suspect that they aren't allowed to, and in fact it may be a heresy for them. I feel like a snake, with the apple of knowledge, liberty, and freedom. They want to taste it. To me, this explains so, so, much. Would I have them become like us? Certainly not. How boring that would be! I would rather to integrate them into a global consciousness. Consider for a moment if you were an Alien, in your spaceship, advanced in every way. What would you think if you saw a world with devices of war aimed at its self? Do you see how foolish and divided we are? There is so much more out there that we don't know about. Why would we want to destroy ourselves, our children, our species before we have a chance to discover it? Why would they want to share their knowledge with us? This is ultimately why we do not want to share nuclear technology with Iran. I don't like the way this situation is escalating. I learned something while being in the military. Despite all my efforts to understand, and all my lofty ideas of peace, that there are many things that I do not know. I have no idea how necessary or un-necessary our "Cowboy Peacekeeper" stance really is... I don't like to trust things blindly. It is a paradox for me not to know. How can I hold a descenting and seemingly subversive voice against our leadership when I don't know why they have chosen to do the things they have chosen to do. A rubix cube with some of the stickers pulled off. How do I know if all the sides match? Where are those who pulled the stickers off and hid them from me? They don't trust me. LOL! (I smile at that!) All I can say is, I don't trust them either! That is ultimately what I am saying. The feeling is mutual, ironic, and funny! Like turning on a webcam to see someone who looks almost just like you! (Which actually happened one time! Very Bizarre!) It's like looking through a keyhole to see an eyeball staring back at you. It's a staring contest out here. Who will blink? It's a staring contest out there. Who will blink?

 

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