The Bean Burrito Principle
The Basic of the "Bean Burrito Principle":
I have dubbed this the "bean burrito principle". Consider that one night you eat a bean burrito. You know the kind. The frozen ones from the grocery store. On sale, you can get two for a dollar. You heat it up in the microwave in that cardboard cover. It gets so scalding hot on the outside, a solid ball of ice on the inside. So you nuke it for the rest of the 30 seconds of the "2 to 2 ½ minutes" recommended on the package. You grab your favorite frothy beverage and you eat the burrito. (Others just drunkenly swerve into "Mexican Ringer" after bar close and achieve the same nutritious satisfaction.) The digestive process begins in the mouth with the mixing of saliva as your teeth grind the molten hot cheese, stale two year old reject tortilla from toxic hell, and the really cheep beans (oh those dammed beans) into a paste. You esophagus presses that paste down into that chemical chamber called your stomach. It is here that the result of your decision not to eat something more substantive has reached the point of no return. It is here that chemical reactions release methane gas. That gas is mixed with the chemically changed (think rotting) food and pushed along the large intestine. At the end of the line, so to speak, gas is trapped in the in the system by the anal sphincter. Eventually the pressure is too great and the discomfort of the gas bubble convinces that sphincter to open up. Then, "REIIIP", is that familiar sound. That is followed by the odor that we have come to recognize by many a name passed by the pulling of the finger from father to son for over a hundred generations. The fart. Most people blame the smell on the fart. Some even go as deep as to blame it on the ass. None too many blame it on the sphincter. Very few of us know to blame it on our inability to pick something less volatile to eat the night before. And so when we wake up in the morning, head pounding from the nights previous activity, many of us can't understand why out room smells like the outside Porto potty on day 5 of Woodstock.
So what does this have to do with politics, let alone Islamic extremist attacks? So many people want to look no further then the fart to blame the smell. They simply want to spray the room with some rosey fragrance and call it a day. In the same respect, so many people want to look no further then the attackers and their organizations to find blame. The problem is that type of quick and shallow resolve doesn’t lend itself to identifying and solving the problem. If you don’t realize that it is the burrito causing the horrible odor, you can not truly stop it from occurring. Sure you can pack your pants with an air freshener, but eventually some of the smell will get through. It only takes one missed attack and the room is in tears. Spray it and in the end what you have is rose scented poo. So it is the case that if we don’t understand (and accept our role in the process) why the Islamic extremist attack western targets, we are doomed to suffer another attack.
Trying to understand:
If you really want to understand where the burrito meets the belly, then you have to understand the choices Western politics make when buying "burritos" from the Middle East. Of course the gas we produce from the Middle East comes not from burritos, but come from oil. Think of what you picture when you think of the Middle East. A guy ridding a camel, wearing some kind of towel over his head, right? Know what you don’t picture, a bustling city with lots of electricity, roads, and automobile burning up oil.
The lands that hold these vast oil resources are not settled lands that follow Western ideologies of equality and free thought. At least they weren't. Many are leaning that way now, and that is the problem. It would be nice if they were, but social evolution has not lead then to drink the cool clean waters of freedom as of yet. (boy could you imagine how much gas would cost if they did though?) They don’t recognize national unity and authority. They (meaning the majority of the ancestral inhabitants)also don’t care about crude oil. They are nomads, goat herders, and loyal to their tribes. Their religion is more influential to them then the attainment of wealth. Yet the oil burning junkies of the "civilized world" (that is us dear reader) want to get access to that oil. We can’t just take it. Not that we wouldn’t take it if we could. It is just that there are way too many of them and oil wells are sitting ducks in a barrel. We can’t blow the place up, it would ruin the oil fields for hundreds of years. So we use the most efficient weapon we have to cure our hunger. Greed and free enterprise. Much like the terrorist only need small numbers to attack soft targets, so it is that we only need a few greedy basturds to hold power over the rest of their community. Give them guns, money, food, and healthcare and they will hold their brother and sisters at bay.
You can always find hungry people at bar close:
There are a few facts in life that are useful. In a group of 1000 people, there are at least 10 who are hypocrites and would trade their tradition and spiritualism for wealth and power in a moments notice. Also, 10 well armed, trained, and resources people can control the will of the other 990. If 12000 miles away we display the 10 people celebrating with western technology and ideals on TV, the majority of the country will think they are all like that. Last, no matter how bad they taste and make you feel, you can always sell bean burritos at bar close because they are cheap and quick to make.
We need people in these lands to let us build oil wells, protect our assets, and "sell" us our burritos. So our governments find militia men willing to honor our trades. We prop them up as kings and rulers. We arm them and train them to the teeth. We make them wealthy. The people of the lands see these repressive militias holding Western weapons, support, and status. (This is not new. We did this with the native Americans. We found some one, anyone to sign a piece of paper and say the land is ours.) Their ancestral lands are occupied by oil wells. They see the cash and power granted to the people who hold them down and commit human rights violations against them. Many see the westernization of their lands and consider it a "sin" and an invasion of their culture. Most of us can't understand why they wouldn't want money and physical rewards. Those silly people want 70 virgins in the afterlife instead of temporary jolts of pleasure in this world.
From your stomachs perspective:
If we continue to the gaseous consequence as an attack on our nose, the nothing our nose can tell us will stop that from ever happening again. Our nose (the American people) only knows the place smells and we should spray the place with good smelling stuff. But our stomach, the more informed on the matter business end of the problem, knows that better consideration of the diet would stop this whole thing. Just as our politicians know that their greed and desires have changed a culture and caused this.
The Islamic extremists see the burrito as the cause. If they can stop us from propping up oppressive dictators to in order to get oil, then they can have their sacred lands back to themselves. Some of them want the power and status to spread their ideologies instead of the one we are currently backing. Saddam, the Taliban, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel are all products of our thirst for oil and power. Not one of us are innocent of this crime against their land. The Amish may be forgiven. But the rest of us, bloody our hands weekly at the pump. Our soldiers are not boots and uniforms, but cash and power.
Deserving results has nothing to do with expecting them.
No one deserves to wake up with a stinking room and poo in their pants. But considering our actions prior to bar close and the resulting consumption of bad food really only could have lead to one outcome.
We didn’t deserve the attacks of 9/11. Violence is never the answer. But it can be the expected result when measured against past history. We Americans are naive to the consequences of our actions. Our reasoning would be as followed. "Every time I eat one of those cheap burritos, my ass stinks so bad that it forces the paint to peel on my house. Must be cheap paint." Just as we think, "All these holes in the desert where we set up puppet governments and oil wells keep hating and attacking us. Must be the people in those areas are evil."
The difference between a "Bean Burrito" and a "Hummus Wrap".
They don’t understand the individualization of our culture anymore then we understand the unity of theirs. We live in single family housing where we often don't know the name of our neighbor. They live in a more tribal environment where everybody is concerned with everybody’s honor. But the reasons for their hatred of us is far more complex then they are Muslims, they hate freedom, and they think we all should die. Again, the answer to any problems is never violence. As an agnostic Christian I have many times over reasoned that violence in the system doesn't work. But we are currently in a the grips of a cultural catch 22. We now need their resource to support our way of life. However, they want us to stop so they can go back to their way of life. That is why "they hate us". Not our freedom, but the taking of their freedom from them. We can insist that they are free only if they practice it the way we say they should. When we prop up puppets to buy oil on their land, we have released the gas into the equation to the point of no return.
When picking a candidate, pick one that seems to understand the "bean burrito principle" the best. Nobody knows what trouble the future will bring. Having a leader that can understand the full impact and source of the problem is key. A little hint, if you think keeping military presence in their home land for a "hundred years" is even a mentionable option, then you don't understand the principle.