Yesterday this blog was 1 year old, so this morning I am looking back. That’s not normal for me, typically I look forward andÂ do so farther than most so this unnatural retrospective might get painful and ugly – we’ll see. [Editor’s note: it’s especially ugly and painful when you hit “publish” button instead of “save” before a post is done, I will be editing this throughout the day. 🙂 ]
Some of my better posts this past year are about possible futures and the need for plentiful energy because I am passionate about that — I’ve been trying to communicate that weÂ can all have better futures worldwide and that we aren’t all doomed. We are in a new century, we are in a bright new millenium and it’s really time to tossÂ aside the distorted mirror of the last one.
Those posts haven’t got much play, but I continually tell myself that over the long haul the ideas and the efforts are well worth it — some of them are seminal and will reverbate for years. You will find them in the sidebar here under Pages, or click on the Future category.
The other successes I’ve had are in predicting the future of the war on terror. Last summer I predicted the current schisms in both Al Qaida and the Taliban, and pointed out that the old leadership was now gone or not leading. I also pointed out that Iran was directly involved in Iraq, and further that most Islamic states support their own flavors of extremists in their neighbor’s states.
It’s all about destabilizing your neighbor, and by encroaching, extending your turf and influence.
To meÂ the lack of AQ Leadership in PakistanÂ was evident from the summer campaigns — while the media portrayed those as success for the terrorists, they were unmitigated disasters for the B and C team leaders. The Taliban summer offensiveÂ got crushed in the ISAF meat grinder, andÂ it was highly ineffective, a lot ofÂ sound and furor signifyingÂ nothing but losses for them.
The same is true of the AQÂ efforts in Iraq — while they brought that nation near to civil war, they failed at their main goal with their best efforts. Now the whiplash is returning, and all the lives they’ve torn asunder in both theaters areÂ instead focused onÂ AQ and Taliban’s death and destruction. Â
The trump card that covers all in the Islamic worldÂ is not religion, race, or class, it’s all about the tribe and the tribe’s territory and honor. While you see movements and divisions based on race, class, and sect, and ideology, those all factor down over time to the lowest common denominator of tribe; and all other things are mere momentary drifts in direction.
Â So in every theater you see them falling apart and fighting each other, whether you are talking Palestine or Pakistan. You might say this hindsight is great, but I’ve been predicting this since early last summer so I will humblyÂ take a bit of pride in that, especially since even the New York Times has caught on and is talking about the “Next Generation of Al Qaida.” (do a search on Waziristan, or go to this post where I summed up the thinking behind all the previous posts.)
The other successes were a couple of posts during the Israeli-Hezb’Allah conflict, in which I scooped the the big blogs and the big media dogs –Â un-noticed of course– the readership here isn’t large, but if you dig around you can find them.
That covers the successes, the failings come next.
A few times I’ve predicted wrong — notably the Republicans holding the house and senate (hahah!) and once I jumped to conclusions in an article and had to retract, that’s one I will continue to learn from. My proofreading sucks, as a commenter pointed out yesterday, I will try to doÂ better at that.
However those are small things; where I’ve let both me and you down is in not writing more about the future, not projecting all articles far enough.
It’s important to look past the moment, and in the pursuit of Buzz the blogosphere has a major failing. Too oft we get caught up in the celebrity pie-fights, he said-she said, and do not look beyond our noses. The urgent thing isn’t always the most important thing.
Before posting writers should ask themselves “Is this momentary, passing fancy, or will it matter in ten years?” “Will I be embarrassed looking back at the archive of this, or will it still speak with meaning in five years?”
I failed in that, and stopped blogging a while in February while I re-assessed.
So looking forward into next year and beyond it’s my goal to correct that andÂ instead focus beyond the moment, beyond the topical, and beyond the current buzz.