He's the Decider
Re. the quotation: maybe, maybe not. Sometimes you just end up at the same place, stupefied and none the wiser.
- And the end of all our exploring
- Will be to arrive where we started
- And know the place for the first time.
- --T.S.Eliot, Little Gidding (Four Quartets)
"Three U.S Troops Killed in Iraq Fighting," (AP, Kim Gamel) got second page billing in our local paper. It shared a page with "Judge orders Paternity Test in Rape Case [Duke Lacrosse players]" and a college hazing story. The troop deaths are not news we need to open the paper with. It might put a kink in an otherwise pleasant breakfast.
The article also speaks on al-Maliki's plans to reshuffle his cabinet. "'I am not obliged to accept anyone and I will choose ministers myself if I have to,' he said. The warning came as the Shiite prime minister's national unity government is facing growing dissent by coalition partners..."
Somehow, something seems to have been lost in the translation as to what constitutes a democratic approach to government. It looks like Malaki is adopting a Saddam-like approach to leadership. Democracy implies approval of all cabinet members by the members of the elected government. Remember the oversight function of the legislative branch?
Possibly this fine point can be scrapped. But, isn't that where this whole mess started? Saddam was the decider, minus any democratic niceties. So, after $2 billion a week, almost 3,000 U.S. deaths, 25,000+ U.S. wounded and untold Iraqi deaths, we've arrived back at square one.
Is this administration borrowing from the Nietzsche play book, as well as Tom Cruise's? Like Nietzsche, we are creating our own "myth of the eternal return" of which we do not seem capable of ending. This particular return (to Afghnistan and Iraq) was not a particularly enlightened nor beneficial one. Had we consulted the playbook of history, we might've taken a hint from Britain and the USSR.
Come to think of it, using the literary analogy, the Iraq attack is actually more like the psychedelic vision of the poet W.B.Yeats, than anything. It is an artistic thing, relying on symbols, like that of the eagle (for Yeats, it was a falcon) flying high. But like Yeats' tethered bird, America is really just flying in circles, round and round. Who is the falconer who holds the string?