I’ve been thinking for a while about the S.U.V. that slammed through the door of Glasgow Airport. Fortunately there weren’t any innocent bystanders that were injured nor killed by the horrifically stupid act.
Even so, everything must be put in context. We’re talking about one S.U.V set alight by two drivers. The unsuccessful plot to detonate a car bomb in London is, however, a more serious matter because the intent was to kill and cause the greatest amount of injury and death on Londoners and tourists.
Just as U.S. and coalition forces were about to romp Saddam Hussein militarily in 2003, John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down came to mind. I don’t work for the State Department nor did I get a Ph.D in political science, but I understood at the time that the U.S. was getting itself in deep water because of the invasion. There’s one basic reason why: A foreign Christian army is invading a Muslim country.
Published in 1942, Steinbeck’s novel takes place at a coal-mining town somewhere in Continental Europe. The occupying army attempts to force the townspeople into submission but the contrary happens. Resistance to the occupying force mounts with acts of sabotage to the coal mine.
In the end, the invaders realize the futility of their campaign and it becomes clear to them that they have lost the war. The flies, as Steinbeck so eloquently writes at the end of the novel, had conquered the flypaper.
Iraq and the S.U.V. incident prove that the moon is down on the so-called war on terror. The moon will continue to sink deeper for as long as we allow those who are profiting economically and politically from the war to continue to operate and rule with our blessings.
As long as we don’t find political solutions in earnest in the troubled Middle East and elsewhere globally, we’ll be the flypaper and our real and imagined enemies the flies.