An impartial reading of history reveals that with few exceptions, what is considered good diplomacy is really nothing more than pressing one’s advantages and driving a hard bargain. But these mean business principles are hardly something to take pride in, and the so-called fruits of their gains only strengthen the chains that bind us. There is no honor among thieves. And there is certainly no more dignity in their legalized theft than there is in barbaric, hand-to-hand war. Some would argue there is less. Because war, for those who have not gone to its roots and pondered its true implications, is honest on the face of it. One wants what the other has and is willing to kill the other to have it. Or he wants to protect what he thinks he has himself, and is willing to kill so that the other will not take it from him. Diplomacy and war — in the end, the cost is the same: the poor suffer and become poorer; the rich become richer; the fences multiply and grow higher; ignorance is prized and encouraged; and the children of each new generation feed the flames.
The first casualty
Then comes flesh
of another noble cause.
The last casualty
never knows he is.
But his silence,
Songs and Letters, December 11, 2006
Another Song I Know, Cosmopsis Books, 2007