Friday, January 10, 2014

Blessèd are the Peacemakers

They called him stupor mundi, at whom  the world  must gaze and gape.  The emperor Frederick -- Fridericus imperator -- Frédéric II du Saint-Empire.  His wonders are legion;  but only one concerns us here.
Having promised the Pope a Crusade, and failed to follow through, he was excommunicated;  yet thereafter, crusaded indeed, yet in a way peculiar to himself.  He led an embassy eastwards, dealt with the Ayyubid sultan as man to man, and managed to regain Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem for Christendom, without spilling a drop of blood.

So far from welcoming this, those who were adamant that the ground should be embrued with paynim gore, reviled him;  the Pope demanded a new Crusade, this time against the successful Crusader.  (It did not materialize.)


Or indeed yet earlier, compare Gibbon on the reign of Honorius, just prior to the sack of Rome:

By his advice and example, the principal officers of the state and army  were obliged to swear that, without listening in any circumstances to any conditions of peace [italics in original], they would still persevere in perpetual and implacable war against the enemy of the republic.  This rash engagement opposed an insuperable bar to all future negotiation.


And thus we come down to our own day;  the story is the same.

Had the jackals of war in the Senate had their way, we would now be in yet another MidEast war, against pretty much anybody and anybody in Syria, since the ever-shifting factions are impossible to sort out.   President Obama avoided this, while still managing to proceed -- with unimaginable efficiency and swiftness -- to oversee the dismantling and disabling of Assad’s chemical weapons.   For this, he gets no credit, from those who are scheming still.

More recently, Obama and Kerry have managed what eluded every statesman before them ever since the embassy takeover in Tehran:  the Iranians have approached the table, olive branch in hand.  Yet as a riposte to that unwelcome olive branch, the hawks or rather kites -- the carrion crows of concealed daggers and hidden agendas -- demand sanctions yet harsher than those that have already crippled the Iranian population for many years.

The White House launched a harsh attack on supporters of a Senate bill to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, suggesting that they have a hidden goal of drawing the country into another Mideast war.,0,1510706.story

The chicken-hawks feign outrage;  but such indeed has been their goal, ever since, in the engineered run-up to our invasion of Iraq, their motto was:  Everyone wants to go to Baghdad;  real men want to go to Tehran.”   It is not America that these men serve.

What the Iranians really have in mind, I have no idea -- quite possibly they are largely winging it, and will certainly wing awry should these new sanctions go through.  Certainly we need to watch their hands.  (Доверяй, но проверяй, as Reagan liked to say.)   I imagine that they would be overjoyed to forswear all dreams of nuclear arms for aye and ever, if only they might then live in a nuke-free Middle East, something no-one there presently enjoys, owing to [Halt!  Taboo topic detected.  Revert to No Comment.]

[Update 12 January 2014]   Moving forward, despite the would-be Senate wreckers:

“Beginning January 20th, Iran will for the first time start eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium and dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible,” President Obama said in a statement on Sunday.

Les chiens aboient;  la caravane passe.

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