Monday, December 12, 2005
When Alice was in Wonderland, the Red Queen told her that she thought three impossible things every day before breakfast. It's not a bad exercise for anyone living in a world where several impossible things could occur very soon.
Refer back to yesterday's impossible ideas that have come true: The Soviet Union will fall without civil war.
Its satellites will become free without Soviet retaliation. China will have more people earning $40,000 a year than the United States. India will become an economy to reckon with.
Most people still won't accept that an idea has come true if their minds keep labeling it impossible. For example, the impossible idea that the most feared country on earth would be America. Or that our incursion into Iraq would last longer than either the Korean War or America's ground fighting in Europe in World War II. Both have come true, whatever we might wish to the contrary. If those impossibilities don't bother you, how about the idea that the U.S. would have a higher percentage of people in jail than the gulag under Stalin? Or that the only Americans enjoying an actual increase in wage-earning are the very rich?
Reality has already shifted on those fronts. Here are the new impossible ideas that are on the table: The insurgents will sue for peace if the U.S. withdraws from Iraq tomorrow. Saudi Arabia will sell so much oil that it can finance anti-Americanism worldwide forever. Any country will be able to have nuclear arms without fear of reprisal. Half the state of Florida will be underwater. A world population of nine billion will be concentrated in massive urban camps suffering from unspeakable poverty and incurable disease.
It's time the White House started thinking more like the Red Queen.