Posted by lex, on July 13, 2006
Well, the plot does thicken. With three years of Mesopotamian dust caked on Army boots over in Iraq and no easy way out in sight, an Iran-sponsored, Syria-hosted Hezbollah pokes a stick into an already agitated bee hive, resulting in a dramatic opportunity to have a real, old fashioned two-front fight in the Levant. Not a proxy fight mind you, no street corner brawl, with Qassam rockets parried by F-16 air strikes on terrorist safe houses, but the real deal: Armored divisions and lines of departure and pulling things up, root and branch.
Bombs go off in Mumbai, increasing friction between the two least stable nation states with nuclear weapons, people that frankly have no love lost between each other, and a long history of nurtured grudges. Oh yea, and nukes. I mentioned nukes.
The Iranian mullahs, leading or following – no one really can tell anymore – a beady-eyed end-timer who gets all dizzy thinking about the imminent return of the 12th imam, decide that all of these US and EU-3 proferred incentives to clarify their intentions with respect to nukes simply require a few more years’ study. While continuing to sow the seeds of misery Iraq, and now, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. While preparing to reap the whirlwind.
And, having celebrated the 4th of July in their own special way, Short Puff and the Hermit Kingdom storm out of talks with their southern neighbors. Sic transit sunshine policies. And that whole “axis of evil” thing is looking rather prescient, nu?
Perhaps I’m over-thinking this, but I’m kind of getting a sort of 1914ish sense that things are hurtling to some sort of dramatic conclusion, that miscalculations are being made in capitals all over the world. That it’s time for everyone to put the gun down and take a deep breath. Time to think it through. Consider the consequences.
What if this was as good as it gets? What if these are the good old days?
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
— The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats, 1920
Oh, yes: We live in interesting times.