…A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin, an excellent book, delivering the inspirational message, if I may partially para-phrase, It took Western Europe 1500 years to get its shit together after the fall of the Roman Empire, so what can you expect in a region “where there is no sense of legitamacy — no agreement on the rules of the game — and no belief universally shared…, that within whatever boundaries, the entities that call themselves countries or men who claim to be rulers are entitled to recognition as such.”
It also strenghtened my growing belief that nations may not have been such a good idea in the first place. In a sense, they boil down to tribes squabbling over patches of dirt, and until we recognize that we are one tribe (people) on one patch of dirt (Earth), we may not make it till next Tuesday, let alone that millenium-and-a-half
Fromkin is pointing toward.
LSD in the water supply may be the remedy of choice.
[And a tip of Jimmy Hatlo’s hat to S. Friedman for recommending this book — and to Adele who, back when we were courting, caused my jaw to drop when she declared during one Olympics, “I don’t believe in nations.]