I think it’s a good, bad bet that it’s so. I think we will all have to learn a thing or two that we’ve been putting off…
The meaning of the terms “Wahhabi” and “Wahhabiism,” for example.
The intimate geography of the Middle East (and East), from the Persian Gulf to Bangladesh, from Indonesia back up to the US West Coast…
Who the Bhuttos were historically.
And that some of our ‘venerable’ liberal theologies – “The US is the cause of all evil”, “Everybody wants peace”, “War is a Western invention”, – that these don’t matter much (and don’t hold back the flood), when there is true conflict in the world, coming closer and closer.
I never really understood the value of pinning WWI on Archduke Ferdinand; it seemed to me that the European world wanted to throw itself into a tribal spasm, to remake boundaries according to the new steel technologies, and to reorder (or solidify) the pecking order.
And then, there is simply the fact of war…there is little in logic that explains it; this is the liberal conundrum, of course. But the error, in my opinion, lies in the assumption that we are, primarily, a species concerned with logic. We’re sold this ideology, as a post-hypnotic suggestion entering out of a presumption that we actually left the Middle Ages, and are truly in an “Age of Reason and Enlightenment.”
We are a technologically savvy animal, to be sure; but we are as tribal, acquisitive, belief-centric, and highly competitive as we ever were.
Two days after Christmas, in the year 2007. I know it looks like just another post-holiday sale day at the mall, another day in a work week, another day of vacation before going back to work…or just another day, but I think history will remember it as something very different and very specific.