If we stay on this course, we'll end up on the rocks

By Debra LoGuercio

©Copyright 2003, Debra Lo Guercio, all rights reserved

    The symbolism of Columbia's tragic end is too eerie to ignore: an American-Israeli alliance goes down in flames. And not just anywhere: over Palestine. Take a look at a Texas map. About 30 miles slightly northwest (directly in the shuttle's path) of Nacogdoches, the official "explosion site," is a city called "Palestine." At the space shuttle's speed, 30 miles is irrelevant.

    "American-Israeli alliance goes down in flames over Palestine." Over George W. Bush's territory, no less. Could the universe possibly scream any louder than this? Some of us call events like this "synchronicities" -- meaningful coincidences; events too unusual to happen at random.

    For example, if you're hungry and happen to pass by Taco Bell, that's not too impressive. But if you decide you're dying for guacamole-stuffed herring and you round a corner and see a restaurant sign that says "Special today: guacamole-stuffed herring," that's too weird to ignore. That's a synchronicity.

    Synchronicities are little messages from the universe. They tell you when you're in the universe's flow and when you're not. When you are, you feel like you're being carried with the current. When you're not, it's like struggling against it. Difficulties pop up. Life feels out of whack. Apply this concept to our country. From the economy to September 11 to the environment to international relations to the stock market, everything feels out of whack. We're off course. America is not in the flow.

    Some may find this flow concept a bit too New Agey. They may have their own terms to describe being out of the flow. A Native American might say the country has bad medicine. A Chinese person might say America's chi is blocked. A Bible-belt Southern Baptist might say Satan's in charge.

    Regardless of the terms used to describe America's "energy" right now, most would agree it's not good. And when did all the "not good" start? The moment George W. Bush stepped into office. It seems like nothing good has happened since. Maybe Bush is just bad luck. There's a concept everyone understands. Bad Luck Bush: Friday the 13th, a black cat and spilled salt all rolled into one. He's the Typhoid Mary of American politics. He's the Anti-Midas -- everything he touches turns to ca-ca.

    What do you do with something that's bad luck? You get rid of it. Unfortunately, that's up to the Democrats, who've followed the current administration like lemmings since September 11 for fear of being branded "unpatriotic." Unless someone emerges who's willing to challenge this administration and stand up for what's right rather than what will get him or her re-elected, we have not two more years of Dubya ahead but six.

    Can we really take six more years of this? Our course is so far out of the flow right now, we'll end up smashed against the rocks. The universe has been warning us about our current course of greed and arrogance. September 11 was a huge synchronicity. 911. The number that signifies "emergency." Meaningful coincidence.

    In synchronistic terms, September 11 told us the Arab world's fury with America has become an emergency. We can't ignore it anymore. It doesn't excuse what those 19 murderers did, but it gives it a context. It symbolizes the "what." The Columbia's crash symbolizes the "why." The terrorists don't hate freedom. They hate Israel and they hate America for supporting it. We don't want to believe this, but in Arab eyes, that's the core issue. And they'll fight to the death over it. "American-Israeli alliance goes down in flames over Palestine." Meaningful coincidence.

    The Today Show's Katie Couric recently interviewed Saudi Arabia's crown prince, and asked him how America could improve its image with Arabs. His succinct response was that we must deal with the Israeli-Palestine conflict more fairly, rather than being unilaterally aligned with Israel.
    We don't want to hear that. We don't want to go there. We'd rather blame SUV drivers for terrorism because it's simple and catchy. It's also erroneous. We could purchase a sea of oil to pour down our SUVs, and it won't cause terrorism. If the mass purchase of foreign products produced terrorism, Japan would have bombed us off the map over Toyota exports alone by now.

    Lucrative international trade does not cause terrorism. Resentment causes terrorism. If you want to stop terrorism, deal with the resentment. The Arabs resent our alliance with Israel. Some hate us for it. Regardless of whether that's right or wrong or whether we agree with it or not, that's their perception. Until we can acknowledge their perspective, we don't have a starting point for discussion. Which, by default, means we don't have a starting point for peace.

    Moreover, Saddam Hussein is a known benefactor to families of Palestinian suicide bombers, willing to die to fight Israel. By attacking Saddam, in Arab eyes, we're doing Israel's bidding. We're "flowing" further into Arab resentment. We're escalating terrorism.

    Do we abandon Israel? No. But how about fighting terrorism by working toward compromise, fairness and diplomacy in the Middle East rather than bombing the hell out of Iraq. Sadly, that's Typhoid Georgie's plan. You think the terrorists hate us now? Wait until we start bombing innocent Muslims. When we launch that first missile toward Baghdad, we'll be launching the next rush of al-Qaeda recruitment.

    "American-Israeli alliance goes down in flames over Palestine."

    The universe is talking to us. Is anyone listening?