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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why America will miss the Middle East

As the US withdraws from the Near East shaking its head in confusion, it may find a certain nostalgia setting in. As evidence, note how there were no parades (until today) for Iraq War vets. Now some read this celebratory neglect as disrespect but it is also reveals the sadness of leaving a new home. The US became a part of the party over there, engaged in its squabbles and becoming a real player, a local tribe even, with its own peculiar aims. It was not the US of A but the US of the ME. And as with the returning Crusaders of old, the vets may yearn for the recipes and passions of the Near East (but likely not the music).

In the future, the US will return to its traditional isolationism. It always wanted and liked that, although dragged the other way by its elites. Now even they are tired of it. The problem is that America may not be enough for Americans anymore. Before you could oust a native tribe and settle West on new land. Before you could enslave people and reap profits and status. Before you could rampage South and take Arizona. Now there is nowhere to go. Except cyberspace. Outer space is too empty and expensive; the oceans too deep and cold. Hopefully the virtual world will be enough.

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