Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Serpent's Eye

I am currently reading Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country and one passage in the book jumps out as being particularly appropriate in these times. In 1848, Abraham Lincoln was distressed and angry by the US invasion of Mexico (a country that had never attacked the US). So much so, that he was moved to criticise James Polk, the president at that time. Lincoln said of Polk:

Trusting to escape scrutiny, by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of military glory - that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood - that serpent's eye, that charms to destroy - he plunged into war.
It's amazing how these words still resonate 150 years later.