The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A very, very rude beast. It takes the words of a poet to begin to describe the horrors these furies are inflicting in such a resolute and businesslike way. If you haven’t read it, or haven’t read it in a while, you might read or reread Yeats’ The Second Coming.
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.
Maybe after that Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
[UPDATE]: When I first put this out to the web I was so affected by those pictures that I omitted the relevant portions of text and also hyper-links to the entire poems. That is fixed. I am not usually unmoored by gory photographs. Service years ago on a grand jury inured me to revulsion at pictures of wounds and dead bodies. No, the thing about the pictures which threw me was the feeling that something implacable, insatiable, something raw and ragged lurked just behind the surfaces of the photos, something more akin to Mordor or Azkaban than something that, horrible though it was, might look better in the morning. I don’t know if anyone who was able to survive these horrors will ever know dawn or morning again.
At least that is what I felt. That only great poetry could reach deeply enough inside to touch the place that is sickened by words and pictures like these in this bulletin from The Telegraph.
That was my first thought.
My second thought was for the people who were driven to apoplexia by just the idea that we might have put some water up the noses of a few people who like to organize parties like these.
My third thought was how glad I was that Barack Obama, having personally killed Osama bin Laden, had fled from Iraq so that all our weapons, tanks, half-tracks, planes, and military bases could be taken over by people who would put them to such good use.
In fact, considering where everybody around Obama has to keep his head in order to stay on his good side and not force him to make a moue they ought to be checking the nose-hairs of his foursome for crab lice.
The word headwinds takes on a new meaning when your head is up someone’s behind.
That’s what it seems like.
A guy owns a business. Runs it for years. Has a bank account. He is happy with his bank. His bank is happy with him. Then one day his bank sends him a notice that his account is closed and the bank doesn’t want his business.
Something must have gone wrong, you think to yourself. And you would be right.
Something was wrong. The President of the United States had decided one day that there was something icky about the guy’s business. Not illegal. Not tax-delinquent. Nothing unhealthy, immoral, or fattening. Just icky. And so the President of the United States created Operation Choke Point. Quite a name, isn’t it? Sounds like something Lucky Luciano’s boys would come up with. But no, it wasn’t a cheap mobster, it was the American President. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for thinking something the President did was the tactic of a cheap mobster?
The guy with the business and no bank account was. But he had to admit that was how things looked.
After researching his case on the Internet, Brookman says he concluded that his banker, JP Morgan Chase, closed the account because two of his business activities — dealing in vintage coins and selling firearms — were labeled “high risk” by federal bureaucrats as part of an Obama administration initiative called Operation Choke Point.
That’s the way the story about the whole mess seemed to me, too. I guess the answer is to write the White House and ask the President what kinds of businesses he favors and start one of them. And if you never hear back just remember: they always need Greeters at Walmart. But I’ve heard a lot of Democrats look down their noses at Walmart, too. Well, I guess the Greeter’s OK even if the rest of Walmart is subject to Presidential Disdain. Who can object to saying Hello?
And as the sun sets on the good ship Republic we bid good bye to our out-dated notions about a limited government of laws serving a self-reliant free people and learn how to tug at our forelocks and bow decorously to our betters and masters in the hope that one day we might open the kind of small business that won’t offend the long, delicate nose of Our President.