Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"He catches the wise in their own craftiness" (Job 5:12-13)

Mad Magazine could not have made this up. It seems that that nice consular official, Raymond Davis, busted January 27 in Lahore, had some great music on those cell phones, even though he is not yet singing himself.

It seems that Davis had 33 Pakistani contacts in his three cellphones, of which 27 were members of the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taib, the outfit that did that caper in Mumbai a couple of years ago in which 164 died and about 300 more were wounded. And he had made lot of calls recently to these guys. The Pakistani and Indian papers are reporting from intelligence sources that "diplomat" Davis was engaged in recruiting young guys to work for these organizations to blow things up and kill people in Pakistan in order to show that Pakistan's nuclear weapons are not safe - presumably to justify their seizure by the Americans. Operation Northwoods comes to mind, the plot developed in 1962 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to kill Americans and blame it on Cuba.

Anyway, Pakistan picked up another guy, Aaron DeHaven, last Friday on an expired visa. Turns out he works for an outfit called Catalyst Services LLC. It seems that according to Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the rats are leaving town. and things aren't being blown up in Pakistan quite so much.

Now to figure out what effect this might have in Pakistan, an effective way to use our brain cells is to remember what the Bible says, that God has fashioned all our hearts alike, and then to consider how we as Americans would think. Let's imagine that several hundred Pakistani "diplomats" are running around the States, and recruiting hard guys to shoot Americans and blow them up in order to prove that the United States is an unstable place that should be invaded - and that these things are actually being done in American streets. Now stop right there: how will American citizens respond to that caper when they learn about it?

If you need the Americans for anything - like the Americans need the Pakistanis - how smart would you be to grab the Americans by the nose in that way? So then, how could these clever Americans be that stupid, grabbing Pakistani noses the same way?

It does get worse. If Aaron DeHaven is going to play secret agent man in Pakistan, shouldn't he get his visa renewed? And if Ray Davis is going to be shooting ISI guys on the street, should he be keeping the names of his Taliban buddies on his cell ph0ne contact list? I'm about as well-suited for espionage and covert ops as I am to be a hair stylist, but I think even my tradecraft is better than this!

The biblical lesson seems to be this. These guys delight to do these things because they are wise in their own eyes. The rules don't apply to them as for ordinary people, because they are special, the Superman that Nietzsche wrote of. And so they have been caught in their own craftiness, just as it is written. That happens a lot, but they never learn.

The funny thing about the Bible is that it contains very little of the direction people look for in life - which stock should I buy; how do I get that woman; should I take that job; how can I trick this foreign government or the American public into believing some lie, so that I get to do this or that thing? And because God is silent to such questions, people spend real money and trouble for the advice of clever men, instead of considering that if God won't answer, maybe we should be asking different questions.

The guidance God gives is quite simple: "What does the Lord require of you, O man, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?" Sometimes that will look stupid, but the stupidity of God turns out a lot smarter than the cleverness of Raymond Davis and his handlers, doesn't it?

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