Friday, November 13, 2015

Two hours from Bataclan...

     All set for a perfect St. Hubert tomorrow, but I expect there might be a change of plan. We're in Coucy-le-Chateau, a good seventy miles from Paris, behind the walls of a massive fortress built by Crusaders.

      It's strange to think that when this place was built, the rulers of Jerusalem and  the armies in the Levant and Syria were French. They built other Coucys which still stand lonely sentinel, silent witnesses in what is now the Daesh.

      The people who built these places, here and in Syria- the knights, the magnates, the stonecutters, cooks, prostitutes, and grooms- were serious people. These places are as permanent as they could make them. They BELIEVED. 

       We look at these witnesses, these artefacts, differently. To the Faithful, they aremarkers of triumph. The infidel Kafir came to stay, they built for the ages, and our ancestors threw them out like the Godless trash they are. The young people who look up at Krak know who Saladin and Abd el Kadr were, and they think of themselves as their heirs. They long to extend their victory. They are no more terrorists than George McGovern or Jimmy Stewart were.

        To us, the Crusader castles are pretty curiosities, relics of an embarrassing aggression we have fortunately outgrown.  Charles Martel is a figure of shame, Roland is forgotten, and Richard Coeur de Lion is the co-star of Robin Hood movies.

      You can't beat something with nothing.

     In the darkness a couple of hours to the south,  arrogant rich men who have forgotten real life are gathered to presume to create a new world, one they will mold and control to meet their fantasy crisis with greater power over their subjects. I'm sure they delude themselves into thinking that they and their puny agenda are the targets. They wish they were so important.

      Islam's counterattack stretches to Paris again. It's past midnight, and the village inside the fort is quiet.

Sometimes her visits are unexpected, but Clio is always near at hand.

No comments: