Saturday, November 18, 2006

In a hurry

"Bush and Blair are in a hurry, and such men lose wars." This comment in a column in the British paper the Guardian stopped me cold. There's a lot to think about in this completely true statement, and Bush and Blair are really not its point. It reminds me how often people are defeated just by being put in a hurry. Victory belongs to the patient.

These are hard words for me, because patience has never been one of my foremost qualities. To the degree that I have learned it, it has been through lots of time in remedial education, not much fun. But having seen it put it so truly and starkly, I am reproved, and I'm a little more signed up now.

Of course it does apply to Bush and Blair, who as always will try to repeal this truth with more violence. Violence is at its core rebellion, the attempt to overthrow truth by force.

Accordingly, they will increase their violence in Iraq, sending more American soldiers who will commit more atrocities and enrage more people who will repay them just as Americans would if an occupying army behaved in our country as Americans feel entitled to do elsewhere.

"Whatever you want men to do to you, do so to them" - or as Rabbi Hillel put it, "Whatever you hate, do not to others" - certainly does not enter into their thinking, however much some of them may shout that Jesus is Lord.

"Christians" who say they believe the Bible ought to remember that Jesus said of this commandment, "This is the law and the prophets." If they believed the Bible as they say they do, would they blow Jesus off like that - pressed into this faithlessness by their worldly fears? And their unfaithfulness will get them nothing but shame and immense bloodguilt anyway when we're all done, because as the Guardian writer rightly said, "They are men in a hurry, and such men lose wars."

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