In search of another anchor, we severely sever all tethers.
When a gun is held up in contempt for the rule of law, the result is everyone in the reach of the bullet is incarcerated. Bullets instead of minds set international policy:
One of the great weaknesses in the modern Middle East explaining much of the chronic violence and political thuggery of the past half-century is that the rule of the gun is stronger than the rule of law. Three separate developments now taking place in different parts of the Arab world might have real consequences for the region’s future: the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment against the Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir; the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) approved this week by the Iraqi Parliament, under which the United States must withdraw its forces by the end of 2011; and the mixed Lebanese-international tribunal that will try those accused of killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other public figures.
If we ever hope to become more than our weakest impulses, we will have to overcome our preference for violence and our need for a bloody end.
I have a vague memory of the late 1970’s in Middle America where every female member of my extended family was on a daily diet — at least when in the public company of others. The standard 1970’s diet plate — in case you need reminding or edification — consisted of the following:
- A lump of cottage cheese
- A lean, grey, paper-thin “extra lean” hamburger patty on wilted lettuce
- One slice of tomato
- One canned peach slice in light syrup
- Non-sweetened iced tea, weakly brewed