Mood: on fire
Topic: "Road to Damascus"
Frodo has seemingly always been aware that, although "all roads lead to Rome," somebody consistently seems to be "on the road to Damascus." Frodo cannot recall anybody ever saying that they were actually in Damascus, but that they were, indeed, on the way. Paul the Apostle, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and even Charles Kuralt come to mind as travelers on their way to the mystical-sounding city named in the "Arabian Nights" of Frodo's earliest reading adventures. Damascus, Frodo fears, is much more than an escapist destination in these troubling times.
Clueless Secretary of State Rice today identified Syria and Iran as instigators, as distinguished from insurgents, in the violence sweeping the Muslim world over the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in cartoons published in certain European newspapers. Caucasians from around the world have seemingly been shocked at the depth of the outrage. Frodo has noticed that Americans, most of all, have been mystified that a religion which seemingly has no problem with beheadings and murder should get all worked up over a cartoon. After all, their own President is a true comic figure and is depicted as everything from a dunce to a puppet to a storm trooper by cartoonists, be they domestic or foreign.
It amazes Frodo how much Americans have learned about Middle Eastern culture in such a short time. Think, dear reader, how many words have been added to the standard vocabulary in just the past few years. Sunni, Kurd, Shiite, insurgent, embedded, Mullah, IED, WMD, RPG, Kevlar, Halliburton, and even Koran are a dozen examples of things which even residents of Texas can now define.
What worries Frodo most of all is that Americans will soon be on the road to Damascus, and that they will find that it is indeed a journey without end.
The fact that values differ among peoples is something that one learns from travel. Had George W. Bush ever traveled outside the US of A before he morphed into Sauron, he might have further considered an attempt to impose a whole new set of governmental responsibilities on the peoples of Iraq. The road from there to Damascus is a toll road, and travelers find it to be very expensive.
Yes, Americans have learned much about Middle Eastern culture, but the dance beat in the streets is not Whitney Houston. It is the tolling of bells.