If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man –
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began –
That the Dog return to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of … terror and slaughter return!
Roger Cohen is looking at the terrible requirement to be serious, asking us why we tolerate tiny politics in a continuing danger.
The United States is often an unwelcoming place these days. But as Bill Clinton said last week, the country is more inspiring with the “power of our example” than with “the example of our power.”
Roger Cohen explores another important question too: How home became homeland.
The 20th Century was not easy.
It was a century of war.
We triumph from it.
We carry its trauma too.
I’m asking, “What would we be after a century of peace?”