Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Socotra" Anyone?

What in hell's name is a "Secotra?" Better question, "what is Socotra?" Or, even better, "Where is Socrotra?"

Answer: "Socotra is a "Rhode Island sized" island, with three additional tiny islands that amount to rock outcroppings, 220 miles south of Yemen, less than 100 miles west of the "Horn" of Africa.

It's ownership has been pass around over the centuries. Today,it's owned by Yemen.

The 60,000 or so indigenous people are unique. Their language is an Arabic derivative. The island saw Christianity early. Thomas the Apostle is credited to have gone there in 52 A.D.. Socotra was predominantly Christian until the late 10th century. By the 17th century it had given way to Islam.

At 12 degrees latitude N, Socotra enjoys a warm to hot dry climate. The coastal areas, mostly white, sandy beaches, received a scant ten inches per rain per year. Offshore breezes moderate the often hot temperatures. Mountains and rock formations create a seascape that borders on spectacular!

Interior elevation nears 5,000 feet, allowing it to catch 40 inches of rain annually. The additional precipitation creates moving streams and clear pools of fresh water throughout Socotra's rugged interior.

There are hundreds of plant and flora specifies exclusive to the island. Possibly the most unique are the "Blood Trees."

There are bird species found nowhere else in the world.

Much to the chagrin of ecologists, goats were introduced to the island in the 11th century. They readily thrived and became a staple of the local diet. But they grazed on local plants that were found in no other place on the globe.

Over the centuries, locals made their living almost exclusively from the sea. Agriculture was limited, but tobacco has always done well. Dates, from the islands massive Date Palm Trees, are the leading export crop.

Sea landings have always been available, the three-month Monsoon season notwithstanding. Portuguese sailors referred to the Monsoon winds and seas as the "Lion of Socotra."

Socotra has been spared most of the fallout from Saudi Arabia's war with Yemen. The United Arab Emirates has recently built an airport on the island. Today there is growing uncertainty of the long term disposition of the island. It's strategic importance as a potential supply depot is clearly in focus.

I say, "Let's buy it!"

Iran would protest bitterly. Russia might not like it. China definitely wouldn't like it.

But...

The Yemeni are broke! The Saudi's owe us a favor.

Environmentalists will recognize the importance of saving literally dozens of plant and bird species from possible extinction, that could result from a war. Neo-Cons would quickly forgive President Trump for the Syria pullout.

Under U.S. ownership, 60,000 Socotrans would be granted automatic citizenship. Many would opt to stay on the island and live on generous American entitlements. However, large numbers of the younger people would choose to explore the mainland.

It is probable that the non-indigenous goats would be extracted, in an effort to preserve the delicate fauna. Motor vehicles are currently and would continue to be prohibited in the island's interior and a large part of the coastal areas.

With one exception, American occupants would be restricted to Scientific and Military personnel. The exception would be those convicted of "attempting to undermine" the Republic. In essence, "the Deep State."

Some consider that these nimble insiders as nothing short of treasonists! Treason usually carries the death penalty. I don't think Americans are out for blood. Nor, are they seeing these "deep staters" with vindictive eyes. It amounted to entrusted people looking at their own interests first, the nations' second.

So, you create thee utopia for them that they themselves tried to create; with a different twist.

"Guests" would receive everything from a quaint, comfortable adobe homestead, to a never ending wardrobe of "Luke Skywalker style" white two-piece robes. Do you remember what he wore in the original Star Wars movie?

Each week, "guests" will draw rations, including candles, at the base commissary. Everything a soldier might receive will be there, including beer, booze and even marijuana.

One doctor for every 100 guests. Sorry! But that was actually better than what Obamacare ultimately offered to millions of Americans. Emergency procedures? Probably, if it's not "too often" and/or "too many!"

Cable TV? Cell Phones? No chance! Guest would be allowed thirty minutes per week for calls to immediate family members only;from a designated commissary phone area. Friends and relatives would be allowed to send guests magazine subscriptions, from an approved list.

Guests would essentially return to the simple things, the way they did them in Jesus' day. Friendships could better be developed. Individual creativity would be at a premium.

A lot of Americans would consider "being a lifetime guest" in Socotra more reward that punishment.

Meanwhile, the United States would have effectively "killed three birds with one stone."

Without question, a seaport, airport and supply depot in that dangerous part of the world could prove invaluable.

Can we honestly trust anyone to preserve this miracle of nature; other than the world's top ecologists? Socotra is utterly, "otherworldly." If one were looking for the perfect "set" for a movie taking place on an alien planet, look no further!

Those "deep state operatives" should be punished. But who said that punishment need be restricted to a conventional correctional institution?

These people in so many cases, used technology and inside information to advance their own personal causes. This punishment amounts to their living without technology, with only dated information.

I say, "pretty damned fitting!"