Topic: "Red Sky at Morning"(5)
There is something very ominous in a sunrise which blazes across the horizon, giving life to a poor seaman's poetry. Frodo knew that Hurricane Ida was entering the Gulf of Mexico as he scanned the headlines of his morning newspaper, and he was well aware of the fact that the Shire has already experienced 200% of its annual total rainfall. The morrow will dawn without notice, since the circular weather patterns will again bring heavy rainfall to a saturated ecosystem in time for the morning rush hour.
It is enough to try the soul of a Hobbit, but it will pass as merely inconvenience amid other worries. The advance information is that the President will probably announce, in a very few weeks, the deployment of tens of thousands of American troops to Afghanistan. It is rumored, and rumors before bad news are generally prophetic, that there will be as many as 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan for many, many months to come. Frodo is despondent, worried, and wishing that he could see anything which would make him feel otherwise.
The reporting is that all of the President's military advisers have counseled him to the direction which will soon become policy. Frodo, in all candor, does not give a great deal of credence to military advisers, and America's history since the end of World War II supports Frodo's skepticism. Soldiers, and Frodo speaks bluntly, are like accountants. They perform a valuable service, we could not exist without them, but there has never been an accountant who could lead a nation for anything longer than a monthly reporting cycle. So, too, goes it with soldiers, whose prowess on the battlefield ends when the white flag is raised and the enemy lays down his arms. There is no place in these times for a MacArthuresque rule of a tribal society or an insurgent populace.
There are rumblings in the distance and perhaps it is merely thunder, but Frodo fears the Four Horsemen are passing. What trails behind will not go unnoticed, nor unforgiven. Mankind again squanders his promise on the scabbard, and Frodo fears that the Ring was merely hidden, not destroyed.