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Belmont Club

Chekhov’s Gun

August 28th, 2013 - 7:27 am

Is the report real? Or is the Bandar offer, as the Telegraph suggests, possibly Iranian disinformation? Well, who knows? But the whole thing is playing out a little too smoothly, and has the air of a script. And for that very reason it is perhaps well to remember Anton Chekhov’s dictum about dramatic props. A gun that comes onstage in the first act must absolutely be fired before the third act ends.

Assad’s chems have been on the table for a while, lying beside the teapot and the cup. When they will they be poured into the brew? Or have they already?

We are now coming up to the denouement of the script. Yet as in all suspenseful plays, the essential question is still unanswered: how does the story end? Which character is led away in handcuffs before the final curtain? And does the hero get the girl? What was the drama all about?

Sometimes these questions are left unresolved or we are left to puzzle them out ourselves. But that we should take an interest is only natural, for we are in truth not onlookers in some make-believe theater, but real minor personages on the actual stage of history where the tale — a real tale with an unknown ending — is unfolding. The questions for us are actual. Do we survive? I mean really survive. Or are we led away in handcuffs or in a coffin before the end?  The consolation is that the conclusion partly depends on us; it isn’t written yet, and we may have a line to speak before the finish.

For it’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? … Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t.

And that’s because in plays of this sort it is  – you, I, we — the whole inconsequential lot of little people who in the aggregate determine the ending by the sheer outworking of numbers.  What ought to give the Bandars, Putins, Obamas and Erdogans of the world pause is we are all, as it were, like Chekhov’s famous gun: all portentous props standing on the stage wondering why we are there. And we will be fired or act our part before the end. Everything that comes on in the first act will have a role to play before the third.


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Top Rated Comments   
as a boomer I have watched the Russians through the decades; and, putin has always been a fascination to me. alpha male for sure.

putin: shoots (for real), hunts and fishes, swims daily in freezing rivers (younger days?), and so forth. brutal as he11. isn't some artist is running for his life (today) after painting putin in a ladies nightgown? before being a dictator he ran the k.g.b. he's a very tough customer.
vs
obi-booboo: (o t o h) hunts him some weed and such (interceptor he was called). he and the mooch can down some seriously expensive fish, lobster etc. at one sitting, and he likes swimming in very expensive heated pools on somebody else's dime. before trying to be king he did some community organizing. he's tough on golf carts.

many may not have heard, but in general, Russians have never taken to black people much. not exactly a hot spot for black tourism either. its just the truth, ignore it at your own peril.

all things considered, and the way he acts around barry (body language), i'd say putin can't stand the sight of our little obi-booboo. (pix me laughing) putin's laughing too at the total, expensive and deadly incompetence on display on the world stage for all w/ a brain to see. you really can't fix stupid. a much bigger world problem is the even dumber bunch who worship our little obi-booboo.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No we are not. We are trying to be large-minded, non-sectarian and sophisticated. Not objecting to Christians dying is forbidden by the same good manners that prevents one from taking exception to one's own ethnic group being targeted, if it is not an approved minority.

We adopt this pose in the vain hope that the Left will not call us bigot and listen to us. They will not listen to us.

No the real reason not to mention the persecution of Christians is that their salvation lies in fixing things in Washington, where the problem is not Christians versus the lions, but the everyone versus the lyins.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Attacking three days at the most
Won't bother the Syrian host
He'll readily see
Just like you and me
It's only a vacuous boast.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (96)
All Comments   (96)
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The question that keeps popping into my mind is this.

Islam has been killing, maiming, mutilating and destroying people and cultures since it began and Obama has praised Islam since he came upon the scene, but now that some Muslims have used poison chemicals to do what they have always done, which is to kill and maim why has it has suddenly become bad to do what Muslims do just because they are using a different tool, chemicals to do it?

Aren't shot, bombed or beheaded people just as dead?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
John Kerry said he had all the proof he needed that poison gas had been used. He got it from facebook and utube.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kinachdrach,

I had in mind that they might send someone really competent --say Susan Rice or Samantha Power.

Your point is taken. The idea may have merit -- my primary purpose, with an incident in a summer 99 years ago in mind -- was to get a lid on the pot.
You are right, though. We lack the team to do it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Oh, man ... 99 years. That seems so long ago. And yet when I was going off to college I knew men who fought in the Great War who were in their late sixties. Which is almost what I am now. In other words: still sorta, kinda, not old.

And then I remember I was born just 85 after the end of the Civil War.

History just blows my mind. The mystery of time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"85 years ..."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My grandfather and his cohort rode horses to work. My great-grandfather , a civil war veteran, died the day I was born in 1946.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah me too. When I was in say high school, WWII was over just 20-odd years. Now the Vietnam was has been over for 40-odd years. OMG. I never realized how in the shadow of WWII I was. Actually I did, it still permeated everything, but so much it was like a fish viewing water.

I say I feel like Elrond, remembering personally things from the way past. And then there's my 94yo neighbor, ... still making money at the sports book, but not much interested in history.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, the Choom gang has plenty o' pot, but no lids to speak of. And I suspect the adults in the room got tired of his whining and changed his diaper er mind...

Actually the truth is Putin started moving men and ships and that scared the Puppet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Helen Back: "Does it make sense to anyone other than me that it might be appropriate and possible to sit down with the Russians and agree that the use of these weapons cannot be tolerated?

OK, but who will be sitting around the table doing the agreeing?

On one side, there will be Putin and his guys. Say what you like about Putin, he is a proud Russian and wants the best for Russia & Russians. On the other side -- Kerry who lied about US soldiers in Vietnam, and uses his wife's late-husband's American-earned money to buy a yacht from New Zealand. And Soetero -- who is ashamed of the US and detests Americans (except for his small coterie of friends who consider themselves to be transnationals who had the misfortune to be born in the US and who detest Americans even more than he does).

How well do you think that negotiation is going to work out for Soetero's "subjects"?

And let's not forget about China -- they make all this stuff anyway, so they need to be part of the conversation. And Barry will want to bring in his EUropean masters, who agree with him that everything everywhere is all despicable America's fault.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suspect, after the latest press releases from nation's leaders about winding down and now talking about a political solution, after huffing and puffing about a military attack, that information was discovered and it wasn't the Alawites launching the chems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Barry has swapped the Congress for the MSM.

The voluble leaks are his mechanism for getting their advice and consent.

If the script gets shot up, he's sure to send it down for rewrite.

Which is what we're witnessing.

Axlerod is polling 5% policy approval numbers -- the jihadi/ AQ vote.

Paris and London are seeing some kick, too.

Kicking the Africanized beehive is no longer looking so sweet.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One thing the media is missing:
It's not enough to speculate on whether either side "would" have used gas.
A professional, technical examination can determine the likely weapon systems used. Not just the gas- how was it delivered? Mortars? Spray from tanks? Rockets? This can be determined.
Obviously, only the side with the relevant technical means could have done it.

IF- Big IF- Western intelligence agencies have definitive proof that Assad's forces did it, then I expect that definitive proof is of the technical variety- evidence showing, for example, a sustained rocket attack from a direction of known Syrian rocket batteries with the capability of making that attack.

Shrouded bodies mean nothing. Show me the debris, in situ, with the distribution and orientation of fragments.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The investigators were UN people that just left. I have no trust in the UN, and much less in this administration. GIGO, garbage in, garbage out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Blert said "The ONLY significant regime push has been to re-open the roads to the coast. To do so every other front has had to be stripped."

90% of all trade travels by sea. So control of the sea is critical. The USN controls the sea. We have the only truly blue water navy. If we blockaded the Syrian coast, all those open roads to the coast would become roads to nowhere. And we now have two carriers off Iran, the USS Nimitz and the USS Truman http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-strike-syria-unfold-20098571

"Where are the carriers?" Just over the horizon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,”

Do you mean the ones like the Boston Marathon bombers?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We are close to energy independence, not so the rest of the world. An expanded OPEC would fix world oil and gas prices higher and Russia has a history of using energy dependence to force political moves. The Saudis "admitting" control of terrorism is not credible.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
(first two verses of 'the synarchy song' --a work in progress, suffering writer's block since oh, the Fourth Crusade)

The hope that the Pope'll
take Constantinople
is what's motivating our side;

And as for Damascus
if only he'd ask us
we'd tell that to Mr. Assad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Our foreign policy is seen as irrational, feckless, and weak, and we are perceived as allies unreliable to the point of treacherous for a very good reason. We elected an irrational, feckless, weak, unreliable, and treacherous man as President. Elections matter, they aren't just exercises in feel-good group dynamics.

All the questions and reservations are quite proper, but the fact is that in the conduct of foreign policy, Congress has never defeated the President in the short term, and only rarely and partially in longer terms. It's too late to complain about Obama's trangressions and failings when they were already evident when he was elected and reelected.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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