Sympathy For The Idea Of The Devil


I’ve just muted David Cameron leading the debate in the British Houses of Parliament on the possibility of Britain joining the Iraqi strikes.

But his image remains, jabbing its finger into the air every so often, the camera panning away to take in the still mostly lily-white House of Commons as they politely interrupt each other every five minutes.

It seems inevitable by now that not just Britain, but many more countries will join up for this latest session of world war. The ambient fear level is so high as to be tangible through the telly screen.

And yes, I know that this activity of killing each other in large numbers has been our preoccupation for at least 10,000 years now, with this lot striking back after that lot poked them with a stick and the other lot leaping to defend themselves because of what yet another lot was whispering into the wind…but it seems to me to be reaching a rolling boil this week.

And it doesn’t really matter whether or not you subscribe to one or the other conspiracy theory or if you just write off the whole bloody lot of “them” as power-crazed psychopaths: “they” have brought us once more to the opening acts of a play which could very well become the endgame for this particular civilization.

Zooming out a bit, the posturings and debates; the brutalities and the fear; the words and the threats and the threats between the words become something less personal, something more ephemeral, yet something far more chilling than bands of homo sapiens rattling sabers at each other.

It is almost as if an ancient enemy of earthbound life were flowing across the globe, speaking through the leaders of the world, stirring the cauldron once more for the infernal sacrifice of war.

And in this I can almost envy the Christian worldview. For at times this principality takes on almost the semblance of a being. A being who has hung around since we all began this grand experiment called mortal existence, who will not be denied, and whose implacable enmity for life is its defining characteristic.

It is almost, indeed, the outline of Satan which I see peeking through the eyes and humming on the lips of the arm-waving Cameron, and Obama, and others like them all across the globe.

Almost the Devil.


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