Abandon ship!

The chance that an online columnist (aren’t bloggers now eligible to join the National Association of Newspaper Columnists?) can find a topic that no one else had touched (a virgin topic?) is about the same as hoping to find a $100 bill on the ground.  If, however, a columnist has twice in his lifetime found a C-note just waiting to be scooped (bad journalism pun – 15 yard penalty) up, then he might be justified in pounding out the keystrokes required for a column with a “Has Anyone Else Noticed . . . ?” style headline

Such as?

Over this new decade’s first weekend, there was a story found online indicating that the United States and Great Britain were closing their embassies in Yemen.  Isn’t the closing of embassies usually the last mileage signpost on the road to war?  It was the lead story in some Monday morning newspapers.

Our copy of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” is several hundred miles away and so we have to use memory to work without a net, but back then, wasn’t closing down an embassy, the final diplomatic move before declaring war on the country where the embassy was being vacated?  Has that rash move been demoted down to a diplomatic move in the game of mind-mess (some folks use a much more vulgar term) or do the old rules still apply?

Isn’t closing an embassy with Yemen like burning diplomatic bridges?  Isn’t that equal to the Bush era assessment of “they’re askin’ for it!”?  Wasn’t this weekend’s closing the subtle signal that bombs will talk louder than worn out diplomatic clichés?  Isn’t closing an embassy because of the possibility of a terrorist strike going to be perceived in the Macho Muslim world as a sign of weakness and retreat?

With airport security, health care, Joe Lieberman, downsizing at newspapers, football head injuries, and Tiger Wood having a hypnotic hold on current public discourse, there hasn’t been much commentary on the impending Afghanistan surge. 

Since the Republican Noise Machine has usurped the task of setting the agenda for public debate, it seems evident that if the Fox Journalism Juggernaut doesn’t use the news from Yemen for a taking point, then bringing it up is an existentialist’s exorcise in futility.

George W. Bush changed a good amount of America’s diplomatic modus operandi and so things may have changed since September of 1939. 

If Americans are too distracted to weigh the pros and cons of the Afghanistan surge, then it seems futile to think that they would be interested in any historic footnotes about the fine points of diplomatic protocol.

On the morning of Sunday, December, 1941, wasn’t the Japanese Embassy staff busy burning diplomatic papers and packing suitcases? 

Did you know that the New York Giants vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers (not a typo) football game in Yankee Stadium, which was played on Dec. 7, 1941, coincided with a tribute to a member of the Giants team?  It was Alphonse “Tuffy” Leemans Day and the Dodgers won 21 to 7.  The crowd (according to information found online) was not informed of the events happening at Pearl Harbor.

Would it be worth the effort, today, to write instead a column about the fact that Sean Hannity’s theme song (Independence Day) is actually (if you listen to the lyrics for the entire song) about a woman who kills her wife beating husband?  Gees talk about promoting family values; doesn’t that song nail the Republican philosophy about women?

We’ll keep an eye on Fox News and get back to you if they upgrade the closing of the American Embassy in Yemen to a talking point that indicates a “preemptive strike” is warranted. 

Rubin Blades has been quoted as saying:  “I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”

Now, the disk jockey will play Bobby Bare’s song “Don’t it make you wanna go home?” the full version of Carrie Underwood’s rendition of “Independence Day,” and “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”  We’ll toddle on out of here and go looking for yet another $100 bill.  Have a “We won’t be back, ‘til it’s over, over there” type week.

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