Thursday, September 13, 2012


When we reject the notions of tradition, of history, we lose track of the simple things.

An embassy is soveriegn ground, a little piece of a country within the host nation.  This is not merely a polite fiction, some cute little ritual proclamation without purpose but a foundational principle of international diplomacy.  Without this tradition, without this reciprocated tradition, recognized by all nations, Ambassadors and Diplomats would be restricted to brief jaunts bearing missives directly from their leaders, and sent away as soon as it was done. Diplomacy would be returned to the Bronze Age and alliances and peace would be much shakier things.

There is a reason why every major embassy has armed soldiers, in the case of the United States Marines, guarding it.

Well, ever Embassy but for the ones in Libya, and the Marines in Cairo had no bullets...

Thus, when armed forces hostile to the nation of origin assault an Embassy, they are, in fact, invading the nation to which that Embassy belongs.

This is not a merely symbolic notion but a statement of legal fact.

We have become sclerotic and foolish in our age, caught up in high minded ideals that do not bare any relation to the real world, to realpolitik.  We have hugged vipers to our breast, only to complain that we have been bitten.  We have beaten our swords into plowshares, and now men with swords demand we plow for them and not ourselves.

I am not surprised by events in Libya, or Cairo. I am not surprised that the limp response of our politicians has invited fresh outbreaks.

I am surprised, even alarmed, to hear of attacks on our Embassy in Tel Aviv... and horrified that no one else feels that this needs greater detail other than passive mention in random lists.

I am not surprised that the media has chosen to focus on shaping the election, for to address the nature and causes of the violence would be to admit their own complicity as journalists and as members of the cultural elite, in creating a world in which the worlds largest and most powerful nation is helpless to defend itself, its own interests.

Day by day we lower our necks upon the block; we have become sheep going eagerly to our own slaughter, and all the while we bleating how superior that makes us.

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