Wednesday, January 10, 2007


You know how, in your better action movies, the villain's plan involves creating so much noise and chaos and ruckus in one place so that the heroic forces pool all their resources there...while carrying out his true agenda somewhere else? Kinda like the plot of Die Hard with a Vengeance. It's also the basis for every magic trick: Keep your eye on the pretty girl while I do a little sleight of hand.

Crucial to the villain's plan is finding the right way to draw the forces of the righteous into this trap. Or, sometimes, simply taking advantage of a moment where the armies of good have their eyes fixed, their resources stacked on one specific place. The thinking on the side of the forces of good is always noble, but myopic. And so, while all the cops in New York City are occupied with evacuating every school in Manhattan thanks to a phony bomb threat, the bad guys are removing all the gold from Wall Street.

Of course, in those action movies, the hero figures out this nefarious plan and thwarts it just in time. Kiss the girl. Credits roll.

But here we are, the "forces of the righteous," overextended and precarious, all our attention focussed abroad. Our finest military veterans claim that to overextend even more would render our military power insufficent. The army is all but broken.

If I was a villain, this would be exactly what I'd been praying my entire life for.

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