Power without end, Amen
Walking through the warm Washington night, cherry blossoms shining slickly in the dark, Mangala mused:
How to describe it? This event of overwhelming importance in the history of this world. How to show what the Americans have wrought?
Shock and awe, at the outset, tripped off the tongue, becoming the Shaq'n'al, a thing of monstrous threat and beauty. When it failed to produce the intended result, it became a joke, a potential trademark for a video game.
Yet the Shaq'n'al and that which followed were something new in the world. Think of this: A people now has the ability to cast terrible fire from the sky to destroy a single house, barely disturbing the structures on either side. A quiet spring day, a mild breeze, a flash, and death. A force unstoppable. Death without warning, without even a moment for dignified suffering or to make peace with one's god.
This is power on a scale wielded heretofore only by the gods, absolute, untamable power to be used without cost to the user. And if it can be wielded against the Iraqis, then how can the Koreans feel safe? Or the French? Or even Americans who dissent from the wisdom those who govern them?
Imagine a gathering of dissenters on the Washington Mall, and a government that wants them dead. One military order, one special bomb from the Shaq'n'al arsenal, and they are gone, turned to vapor, in a blink of time. The gardeners and the groundskeepers will have some work, but Lincoln's memorial will survive, intact and unharmed.
The Shaq'n'al means this:
The age of successful resistance is over.
The age of national liberation is over.
The age of revolution is over.
And, too, the ages of dissent, democracy and freedom.
What ages follow depends, largely, on the goodwill of those who govern. But be their will good or ill, it can no longer be successfully opposed by countervailing force.