One says, “Lean forward.”
The other may be saying, “Push back.”
* * *
Perhaps the two boys are playing an old game with old cards and broken chips.
“I see you lost some states there,” says one.
“The cause lost some states, but, you know, people don’t change much. They’re still ours, and I see there’s more like them on the table.”
* * *
It’s an evil old game cooked by one party with crude assumptions: the other cannot walk away; the other cannot win; the other is there for beating and controlling; the stakes will be useful, pleasing, but of themselves are not important.
* * *
And why not?
Others fight old battles over and over, and the origins or their legends and myths are even farther back in time.
Banners, causes, flags: shields.
Methods, outlooks, visions: those are more to the point.
* * *
Winning empathetically, ethically, rightly: satisfying.
Winning by force of will alone: delicious!
Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday the United States — which, in addition to being one of his country’s chief adversaries, has led the push to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over chemical weapons — has no right to make “humanitarian claims (given) their track record” in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Putin said this week that any one-sided action would be rash. But he said he doesn’t exclude supporting U.N. action if it’s proven that the Syrian government used poison gas on its own people.
Rumsfeld’s War – Newsweek and The Daily Beast (9/15/2002):
“Leaning forward” is one of Donald Rumsfeld’s favorite expressions. An old cold-war term, familiar to soldiers and spies, it means the willingness to be aggressive, to take risks. “I want every one of you to know how forward-leaning we are,” the secretary of Defense told a room full of Marine generals and Navy admirals at the North Island Naval Air Station, near San Diego, last month.
The Cold War is over, though given the increasingly heated exchanges of late, it’s hard to tell.
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