It’s been a sobering day, with one paragraph I read – by Razib Khan – sticking in my mind:
“No matter what establishment voices assert, intervention in foreign lands in a ham-handed fashion to prop up our American values is bound to lead us down a path of tears. As Shadi Hamid states, the future of democracy in the Middle East is going to be illiberal. This may be inevitable. We don’t need to avert our eyes from it, and we need to acknowledge that so we were, so they will be. It took the Thirty Years war to finally purge the enthusiasm of sectarianism from the cultural DNA of Europeans (and even then, religious minorities were second class citizens for centuries). There will be no calm reasoning with Iraqis of any stripe because the march of history continues, and only sadness can convince all parties that moderation is necessary for the existence of modern nation-states. Intervention in some fashion may be inevitable in the world, but our goal should be to prevent hell, not to create heaven on earth. The former is possible, the latter is not.”
“Only sadness can convince.” An awful truth – but a deeply human one.
Today, we tried to cover every aspect of the confusing and dynamic civil war in Iraq. An alliance with Iran? The Battle for Baghdad – and how ISIS could regret it. The welcome calm at the White House. Iran’s quagmire now? The Sunni quandary. The Kurdish exception. The impact on Syria. And, of course, the shamelessness of Bill Kristol.
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See you in the morning.
(Photo: Soccer fans cheer for team U.S.A. as they face Ghana during the World Cup in Brazil at Jack Demsey’s bar on June 16, 2014 in New York City. By Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.)