When I watch the film Au Revoir, Les Enfants, I watch the young Jewish boy, Bonnet, doing the geometry problem on the blackboard, just before the air raid siren, just before they descend into the Avernus of the air raid shelter; there they study algebra by flashlight.
I think of the waste of lives and the waste of mind - such as Germany driving Einstein away and German science being run by Phillip Lenard, himself a Nobel laureate as well as a fervent Nazi who believed German science to be degraded by "Jewish" concepts, such as the Theory of Relativity.
Then I think of American Exceptionalism, and find that I am not to averse from the notion, for is it not a quasi-supernaturalism, postulating that the Powers of the Earth - Powers which most of modern day Americans call "angels" in their popular writings - did bestow benefits and powers.
The trouble, however, with Powers, is that what they give, they can also take away.
We live in the time of retribution.
ISIS is the form of the destroyer called forth by the lie of the Iraq War.
We have no answers for this karma.
We try to come to an accommodation with Iran, yet the ghosts of all the years since 1948 sit in cacophonous assembly and screech cat-calls in our minds... as if nothing has changed since the time of the mutual killing, the large killing, the whole-burnings over and over again.
We sit in the Bazaar of Samarra and sell our very long carpets of death....