Life is rife with disappointments, none more bewildering, perhaps, than the crash of adolescent illusions. Ever since the distant days of youth I have had a soft spot for the nostalgia of the Russian gypsy song, those early twentieth-century laments that, rather like a gypsy fortune teller, seemed to foretell the impending loss of our homeland and of our liberty.
Long ago when Trump first took office, I advised him on Fleming Foundation to fire all his generals. Including the admirals. Instead, he packed them into his administration: Gen. Mattis, Gen. Kelly, Gen. McMaster. The only good one, Gen. Flynn, got railroaded by Trump’s own “Justice” Department, then later exonerated.
This is a slightly corrected Perspective on Afghanistan published in 2010:
“to me the most wonderful thing of all is that so wise and wealthy a nation could have ever entertained the project of occupying such a country as Kabul, where there is nothing but rocks and stones.
Andrey Vyshinsky was Stalin’s prosecutor during the Great Purge of 1936-39. He came up with the phrase, “Give me the man and I’ll find the crime.” That’s not remote. In 2009, Harvey Silvergate, a Boston civil rights lawyer, penned a book, “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.”
An earlier less humorous version I meant to keep in draft mode got posted (by me). If you read it, please read the new version. I have post neither column nor comment since August 1. This slacking is not due to heat–it has been in the very low 80’s here in Rockford–nor pique with anyone or anything. I’d spent much of a day eating out, smoking a cigar, and talking for hours and was not surprised to find I had a minor sore throat.
We’re now in what British journos call the Silly Season, and what could be sillier than the silly invitation for silly President Zelensky of Ukraine from silly U.S. President Biden to come and see him in Washington at the end of August, when Congress is in recess and there’s nobody to say they’re being silly?
The empire of the Babylonians was not fated to last, and Cyrus the Persian, after entering the city in triumph in 539, promulgated an edict authorizing the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. It has been conjectured that the Persians were rewarding Babylonian Jews for their covert assistance in the defeat of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king, but, there is no need to posit such a special relationship.