Took a little break from the news. No Drudge Report. No GoogleNews. Nothing past the first paragraph of page one stories. Very little InstaPundit. Cheated a little and read Den Beste and Andrew Sullivan some nights, but that was about it. Well, and the daily dose of Lileks.
Nice sabbatical — good for the mental health now and then. Also, lots more time to raise the puppy. Got ourselves a golden and named him Xander Harris Ripple Green.
The “Xander Harris” part is easy to understand, if you’ve ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and known a golden retriever. Ripple was our puppy’s father — a local prize winner, this proud parent feels the need to add. Should have added “Practice” in there somewhere, since that’s one of his jobs — practice for the human-type baby we’re planning for sometime next year.
So life has been housebreaking and rolling on the floor and grass-stained jeans and scraping unmentionables off shoes and such. And squeaky toys. Lots and lots of squeaky toys, sometimes found on the second-to-last stair. In the dark, of course. Now I understand why Mom hated walking around the house barefoot once I got into Legos.
The book proposal? Man, oh, man. Writing a cookbook for people who probably ought not be cooking is a job and a half. Maybe even a job and three quarters. On the fourth re-organization of the thing, finally deciding to leave nothing to chance: entire menus, from apps to dessert, with strict instructions on when to do exactly what. For 50 dinners and picnics and parties. This thing had better sell.
Then, don’t you know it, the day I decide to sit down and get blogging again, some nasty little bug bit my head. So the promised return is a little later than promised.
While I was off, it seems the blogosphere took down Howell Raines, President Bush dove nose-first into the Middle East tar baby, and. . .well, I’m not too sure what else just yet. Lots of catch-up to do this week.
And then there’s Iran. More demonstrations tonight? I haven’t looked yet, but I’m-a-gonna. If so, that’s a solid week of pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the Islamic Republic. Cool.
Some folks (and when I say “folks,” I mean “idiots”) wondered blithely and loudly why we didn’t threaten and coerce Iran the way we did Iraq. The answer then was knowledge that the people of Iran were itching for change, and the hope that they were willing and able to bring it about themselves. We’re watching that hope become real.
If it continues, expect bloodshed.
The ’78-’79 Islamic revolution was, as such things go, relatively blood-free. For all his faults and tyranny, the old Shah turned out to be a decent man. When push came to shove, he left his country rather than fight to the bitter end. I hold no such hope for the mullahs. The Shah fought for worldly power and a modern Iran. The mullahs fight for worldly power and a medieval Iran. And, ominously, for godly power.
Scared men will often cut and run. Scared men who think god and/or history is on their side are capable of most anything. If you want the gory historical details, just think about the Crusades, the Inquisition, Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot for a moment. Iran’s mullahs have the zeal of Crusaders, the dungeons of the Inquisition, and the methods and madness of fascist or communist brutes.
If I were a man who prays, I’d pray for the people of Iran right now — they’re going to need it.
Our role in all this? Lot of waiting-and-hoping-for-the-besting, I think. This is their revolution — let’s not take it away from them unless we absolutely must. That’s not to say we can’t provide moral and (some very, very quiet) material support to any Provisional Government that might establish itself somewhere on the Gulf coast or elsewhere.
Or the protests could stall, and Iran could muddle on worse than before, eventually becoming just another overpopulated, poorly-governed Third World basket case — albeit one with lots of oil, a hankering to kill Jews, gays, etc., and nuclear ambitions.
We ain’t out of the woods yet, and neither are the people of Iran. But there is hope, and that’s a lot more than we’ve had, or they’ve had, in a long, long time.
That’s enough pontificating for tonight — time to get all snarky and sardonic again. See you in the morning.