Friday, October 17, 2014

Naming and Numbering the Beast

We are if nothing else very organized. Our social systems are fitted, one into the other, ever-expanding and ever-enlarging as we build a block, a neighborhood, a city, a state and, ultimately, a nation. We cannot begin until we have announced a beginning and sometimes we get into trouble for having a very poorly thought-out sense of what the ending is/should be/has become.

When I watched The Wall separating the two Germanys come down in what now feels like another life, the slaughter that was to follow in the Balkans was unimagined except by those most consumed with their cowardly hatred of “others.” That same thing was true for Islamic extremism in all the flavors that it comes in to include the current ISIL Sundae of Killing or attempting to, everyone who doesn’t worship as you do in exactly the same manner as you do.

I’ve watched news reports of ‘coalition air strikes’ trying to understand how fixed wing aircraft can ever hope to seize and hold territory since that hasn’t happened in the history of warfare (but today could be the day I suppose) and how those Iraqis betrayed by the cowardice of their own armed forces are being helped as they battle  in Anbar Province even as Kurds and other citizens of Kobane try to slow the murderous onslaught aimed like a dagger at their homes and hearths.

I’ve been calling this Last World War by a series of names that would cause my mom to cry were she to hear them, unless, as I suspect, she has similar ones that she’s spared my ears from learning. I think many of us here in the West have similar stories.

But now, good news as we can begin in earnest the task of attempting to stop these Holy-Moly Rollers, because the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of the United States (a/k/a The Great Satan and/or The Crusaders; why not just call us The Great Satanic Crusaders and be done with it? Get the marketing guys in here and set up a test group) have decided this struggle is to be called Operation Inherent Resolve.  

Remembering Old Testament (I think) and Jonah in the belly of a whale, I cannot recall if there is somewhere in another Biblical passage anything about the futility of  negotiating with a shark, which is what I think this all comes down to now and for the foreseeable future.

It was Churchill, confronting Nazis across the English Channel, who offered “a fanatic is someone who cannot change his mind and who will not change the subject.” I believe had he met Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he’d have amended his aphorism to include a recommendation to change the direction of the rotary blades and to replow (and then salt) the area in its entirety. What’s good enough for Hannibal….

Make no mistake; what’s to come will require more than Inherent Resolve. The world may not actually come to an end in The Levant, but I have no doubt you’ll be able to see it from there. 

-bill kenny

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