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:: Thursday, December 13, 2001 ::

Today I got a bug in my head. This happens a lot, but today was special. I became completely obsessed with US Foreign Policy in the Middle East and how backward it really was.

I've had this question for a long time now, but today I think I answered it for myself. Why does the US give unconditional backing to Israel?

For one, there is a strong indoctrinated culture here in the US that gives overwhelming support for the Israelis. It is so strong that it becomes political suicide to so much as attempt to reduce the billions of dollars of uninterrupted economic aid we have been giving Israel for the past several decades. The source of this overwhelming support is up to speculation but I will not address it here.

In addition, we have been supplying them with billions of dollars in weapons and the latest military technology. This part is mostly a remnant from the Cold War era when Israel was our only foothold into the Middle East area. That was back when we didn't care about anyone except the Soviet Union. It made sense to heavily fortify Israel back then. To suddenly about-face on Israel policy would be a huge loss on the United States' investment. Not to mention that there are considerable private investments there too.

I can't change the economic or military position in US Foreign Policy but I can attempt to sway popular opinion at home. In a fit of frustration, I brainstormed myself silly trying to figure out how to best educate the public. It came to me when I was reading about Benjamin Franklin's "Sale of the Hessians" and "Edict by the King of Prussia". I can make a satire!

Without further adieu, this is my completed product:

Haim Baharav
Thursday, December 13, 2001

Ramallah, West Bank – In an unprecedented move today, Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit severed all diplomatic ties with the Quickie Dry Cleaner that he held responsible for repeated stains on his suits.

The Israeli cabinet launched a fresh round of prank calls Thursday in retaliation for a yellowish stain found on the sleeve of the minister’s new suit.

“The stain was not there when I dropped it off,” said Sheetrit. “We are going to have a prolonged, sustained psychological warfare operation to do what the managerial staff has failed to do.”

It was not immediately clear what severing ties to the Quickie Dry Cleaner meant or what effect it might have on the Middle East peace process.

When the manager of the Quickie Dry Cleaner, Abdullah Abdullah, was asked for his response to Sheetrit’s move, the Palestinian employees exploded into a fit of rage shouting insults such as, “That guy is nutty” and “Who?”

This latest incident came amid nearly 14 months of poor service and rudeness following the collapse of the peace negotiations in Camp David in which at least 13 suits and 5 dresses had been permanently stained.

:: everist 9:09 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, December 08, 2001 ::
Last week I completed the entire 4 books of the Rama trilogy. These are the only books I've ever become emotionally involved with. I'm not sure what it was, but I think I was inadvertently introduced to a soap opera drama in the context of a sci-fi theme. These books were co-authored by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee, so I don't know where all the human drama came from, but its there nonetheless.

I think the thing that struck at me the most was the constant cycle of human nature getting in the way of scientific exploration. Our fears and prejudices time and time again compromise our "first contact" scenarios and damage our interspecies relations. Its a miracle that we eventually find out that all other species we meet are *mostly* benevolent. In fact, more so than we.

Anyway, these books incapacitated me for about a week. My ability to focus on my work was severely compromised and I lost a great deal of sleep staying up at night to finish reading. It was fun, but I've put a serious halt on my further reading endeavours until I finish up my independent study project and complete my obligations at work. Fortunately, these are coming to a close within about a week.
:: everist 11:31 PM [+] ::