Sunday, December 03, 2006

No Reverse

No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
--Edmund Burke

A morality tale:

One night a few years ago, a young deer got caught in the hog wire fence surrounding my horse pasture. The little critter was too young to jump, and too immature to go around the obstacle. The deer put its head through the fence, pushing until it died of fatigue, or possibly shock. The little guy was alive when I pulled its head out of the fence, but he didn't make it. He died right there after being freed.

The deer merely had to stop, assess the situation, and simply back up and go around. However, the young deer did not possess this flexibility of thought and action, so mired in the distress and fear of the moment was he. This caused his untimely death.

The thought occurred to me that this was the perfect metaphor for U.S. policy in Iraq. All the deer had to do to save himself--shy of getting stuck in the first place--was to back up. Instead, he remained mired, unto his end.

There must be a lesson here.

Re. the Burke quotation: Originally, I thought this was a lesson lost on this administration. But it is not so. They want the terrorism threat to remain esoteric and opaque, to keep the legions in the state of the deer, the state of fear.


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