I would like to begin my column with a brief history lesson. When we speak of history it's something spoken in terms of past events. History is also a reminder of things that have happened in the past where lessons are sometimes learned and sometimes forgotten. History can also repeat itself leaving us to do it all over again which is not always the best way to go. One example I can think of where we ended up in two different conflicts in the same region with similarities of history repeating itself is that of the Gulf Wars. The first war also known as the Persian Gulf War, first Gulf War, Gulf War I and the first Iraq War involved Kuwait's invasion by Iraqi troops in August 1990.
This battle was met with international condemnation and economic sanctions against Iraq. President George H.W. Bush sent U.S. forces into Saudi Arabia and urged other countries to send their forces to the scene. An aerial bombardment began in January 1991 followed by a ground assault in February. It turned out to be a decisive victory for coalition forces liberating Kuwait.
The second Gulf War began on March 2003 where a coalition of countries made up of primarily the United States and Great Britain invade Iraq headed by the ruthless ruler named Saddam Hussein. The reason for the invasion was that Saddam Hussein had developed or was in the process of developing chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction. The second Gulf War did not last long eventually ending up with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
So are you ready for the next battle? Folks we are about to embark upon a conflict right in our own back yard. This is not your standard conflict but rather one filled with secret missions unbeknownst to the public. It's one that has had a history of repeating itself once a year during those budget battles in a region called Amsterdam, New York. For those unfamiliar with the battle I would like to introduce you to what some refer to as "Golf Wars." Did I say Golf Wars? Yes, that's right folks a barrage of attacks through subliminal messages are once again reoccurring in an area with the potential to be rich in revenue but vulnerable to local ruling leaders. It seems as though just before the swing season begins a battle erupts over specific revenue and what to do with it.
Every year the General Mayor along with her Captain of the Corporation Counsel work the command headquarters at City Hall trying to figure out what the members of the golf course are planning to do. Working the war room during the golf season can bring about tense moments during peace negotiations between the local rulers and golf commission. Suspicious of holding weapons of mass cash the General Mayor disperses drones overhead to retrieve information on its members and trail usage. Suddenly an important document is discovered. This particular document is written in the form of a letter to the editor with regards to "not rehiring a certain individual as a seasonal cashier." The General Mayor went on to say in the letter "replacing this individual was not at all political. I have never worked that way."
Umm... let me think about this statement for a moment. Do you remember when former President Clinton shook his crooked (index) finger to the American people while denying having any relationship with a woman other than his wife? Heck, we all accepted his denial and even after his admission we continued to accept him as a savvy politician. So if the General Mayor believes her statement of being nonpolitical to be true then we should accept it as we did with President Clinton. Let's just hope the mayor never has to shake a crooked (index) finger at us while uttering those famous words: "I'm not a politician."
OK, let's get back to the Golf War. Did I say Golf War? Suddenly a ground assault begins to take place on one of the most beautifully landscaped golf courses in the region. As the battle begins the commission and its members hunker in the bunkers waiting for the attack. The commission senses it to be a trap when questioned about "trail fees." The General Mayor and Captain of the Corporation Counsel then look at each other as always searching for an answer. Wondering how to plan the next attack the troops sitting on the council begin to question the commission's motive. The commission and its members are now feeling the squeeze when asked by one of the General Mayor's soldiers of the new revenue line for cart usage. Satellite imagery from donated cameras show cart space availability and a new revenue line entitled "trail fees." It was during that moment an aerial assault of hot air filled the room with no place to hide. Will the controlling powers decide to put economic sanctions on golf members?
At this point I'm not quite sure how the budget battle is going nor am I privy as to where the money just might be or end up. I do know that every year if a member wants to join the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course either a check or credit card is directed to the "City of Amsterdam." What follows next is the million-dollar question of what to do with it. Where could those weapons of mass cash revenues be? So the Golf War continues while "Golf-Land Security" watches and waits for the next plan of action.
Until next time -- hold that thought.
MICHAEL LAZAROU lives in Amsterdam and is a regular columnist.