Okay, just report what happens.
"Ali was the cousin of the prophet Mo'hamm'ed. He was married to a daughter of the prophet, so, being son-in-law, and then not elected as the succeeding leader in a vote over five or seven, well, that's where the difference comes from, the Fifteenth Century, Sunni versus Shia. Ali didn't get the vote, but, hey, that wasn't right, given who he was. Or was it. Sunni, believe in the vote, and Shia in the lineage of Ali.
"The old Sunnis under Saddam of Irag, the Baathist party, this is one side of the political reality. The old Shias, those in Iraq, want power, so, they have Hezbollah in Lebanon. And again, the big difference between Shia and Sunni, and this is where some of Syria comes in, or rather, the story of the Assad regime, are you following me? Because the Assad paternal line, being of (something that sounds like) "Alowite" persuasion, a sect agreeable over the lineage of Ali believing in Ali's continuation of the prophet Mohammad's wisdom and message as opposed to, if you follow the logic, what must be the point of those Sunnis, who believe in the power of the vote... So, the father of Assad is, in a way, family friendly to the Shias of Iraq, and thus receives support from the important neighbor who is Iraq... There is also Turkey in the mix too.
"More of the game as it is played: The US gives lots, lots of money to Jordan, and this is another part of it. Jordan is perfectly happy receiving lots of US money, and it builds royal courts, and has a great time, and a lot of money disappears and the same people as the poor who are stuck in the roadblocks etc. that Israel sets up are in Jordan quite happy and for the status quo just as it is. A lot of US tax payer dollar disappears, a lot of people live absolutely lavishly, and the poor Lebanese still are stuck. Five road blocks a day.
"Here's another important part of it all: The Saudis, they do not care. They spend more than a trillion on U.S. arms, so the U.S. supports their decadence. They don't have much to do with Islam. They'd have nothing to do with it. Disdain those who do. But, they don't like Iraq, the growing Islamist power in the region, and one of a particular stripe. The Saudis like their economy and their world, and are content with their wealth, and really want nothing to do with anything beyond that. It makes great sense that they do no like the Islamist, but, this doesn't want to make them fight, therefore having to take a stance now does it. As if, happily, anointed, the ineffectual power of the region out of natural resources, out of what?, out of moderation, has no will to do anything. Do the Saudis look around and wonder, what's going on around them? Do they?
"The U.S. has spent more than one trillion on the war in Iraq."
"And then, as far as the war on terror, traveling, being on airplanes, going through customs, what's it like for, say, for someone from the Middle Eats, the general area, the sirian, when along comes the home intelligence troopers serving all of us through the security forces of many official nations, looking for means to sustain all its employment and resources, that of course must grow and meet further projections and thus find guilty people out of the straight, vulnerable almost in particular those straight and good people who are the connective tissues of different societies, the decent, the well-educated still trying to conduct some kind of normal business. They find something on you, some soap powder, and then you're lucky to not wake up in Guantanamo. "
In this conversation, and always a bad sign, arriving after 9:45, Dennis. Dennis is surprisingly sober, and with a tale of giving his father's eulogy, a week and a half ago, shit. But you'd be proud of me, T.
It has been a busy night. It will not end easily, but, it might be interesting in some way.
"And then there's Reagan. Reagan, who believed, contrary to the very spirit of the good American nation, that public education should not be free. Reagan, gutting the great public university of the California system which produced so many bright and well-educated and finished people. The great actor, acting, making his statement, the act that he was 'helping the general public,' when really, as he knew quite well, he meant to benefit the eager rich who wanted more riches unto themselves, personally, more, and to hell with public education and the great raising of the public minds, which would only be dangerous to the special interests. What a great actor he was. And many bought into him, and still believe in him today.
"His descendants in a Milton Friedman mood privatize. Privatize the decisions of foreign policy and war. It will drive the economy after all. And so, who makes money now out of war, out of any war, war on drugs, war for oil, war against supposed weapons of mass destruction during which Dick Cheney's Halliburton makes a lot of money.
"Privatize what used to be the general public good, the general welfare, all of it, education, the penal system... Where does it stop?"