All of which leads me to fear Nietzsche was right: that we do, indeed, live in a nightmare world of eternal recurrence, a universe where US troops are always “withdrawing” from Iraq, only to change course at the last moment. Where the Egyptian military invades Tahrir in perpetuity, and repeatedly drags bloggers away in chains. Where the Libyan rebels are in jeopardy unending, always on the cusp of defeat – and the US and its allies are permanently poised to plant boots on the ground to save them from certain annihilation.
Which means the neocons will be eternally calling for a US invasion of somewhere-or-other – and that there will always be neocons. This last is bad news indeed: it’s like a cancer diagnosis, except there’s no relief in the form of death. Just pain that goes on … forever.
If I’ve painted a dreary picture, well then there’s no sense blaming the messenger: this is our lot, and we just have to learn to live with it. It is, in short, the human condition, which seems mostly to be a condition of forgetfulness, a kind of historical Alzheimer’s in which we have no recollection of our past errors – and, indeed, no memory of historical events beyond the last presidential election. Americans wake up every day tabula rasa, with no more knowledge of the lessons of history – especially their own – than a newborn babe.
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