A World Gone Mad

Sometimes I really feel sorry for the authors of technothrillers and other crafters of fiction. Far too often, they find their works rejected by editors and readers as “too fantastic” or “too unbelievable.” But what they come up with can not possibly be as insane as what happens in the real world.

For example: Syria.

Recently, Israel conducted a raid into Syria. By the best reports (and those are kind of sketchy, as no one who really knows is saying too much), it appears that Syria has been collaborating on a nuclear-weapons program with North Korea. As best as I can tell, North Korea has been declaring that it has given up its quest for the bomb, and is inviting in inspectors to prove it.

Of course, “given up” in this context doesn’t mean “stopped,” but “given it to Syria.”

On the heels of this come reports that Syria also recently had a bit of an accident with a joint project they were working on with Iran. It seems someone got a little careless with chemical weapons, and a few dozen Syrians and Iranians died from mishandled Sarin and VX and other poison gases while they were working on adapting the weapons to ballistic missiles.

This is the same Syria that Speaker of the House Of Representatives paid a state visit to in April, bearing a “message of peace.”

The same Syria that Representative (and presidential candidate) Dennis Kucinich also visited, taking the opportunity to meet with Syrian dorktator Bashar Assad, go on Syrian TV to blast President Bush and praise Syria for accepting Iraqi refugees. Kucinich, on the same trip, chose to skip going to Iraq because he didn’t want to appear to “endorse” the US invasion, but Syria’s ongoing occupation of Lebanon didn’t come up.

The same Syria that the United Nations has just chosen as co-chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the watchdog group (and a useless, toothless dog that is) that is entrusted with making sure signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty don’t develop nuclear weapons.

I considered making a few analogies to this sort of thing, such as Bill Clinton appointed dean of a women’s college or Ted Kennedy head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but I simply couldn’t find something that was as grotesque as what is really happening in the real world.

There’s an old saying that “truth is stranger than fiction.” This is because fiction, at its core, has to be believable. Reality is under no such compunction to be realistic.

And damn, this just goes to prove it — in spades.

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