All of you who are parents remember this scene from when your children were very, very small: First, you see your child get injured, whether it’s a cut or a blow. You react instantly but, interestingly enough, there’s a pause before your baby responds. That pause is so that your child can get a lung full of air before launching the holler to end all hollers. So, in the moment between injury and response, you have “the pause.”
Right now, I feel as if we’re living in the pause. For the last months and years, events have been piling up, at home and abroad, large and small. They’re relatively easy to list, and I’ll rattle off a few, in no particular order: 9/11 (of course); the Madrid train bombing; the London bombings; the recent arrests regarding the London flights; Lamont’s victory; Lieberman’s resurgence; Castro’s disappearance; the Israel/Hezbollah war and the ceasefire; France’s refusal to live up to its obligations vis a vis the ceasefire; the Democrats’ decision to change their approach to primaries; passengers conducting their own profiling on airplanes; the decision striking down Bush’s NSA program; etc.
Each of these events is pivotal in its own way. We’ve seen, of course, how 9/11 has been playing out, but its effect, too, has gotten stagnant. Bush’s ability to keep Americans safe for the last five years has meant that Americans, while viewing 9/11 as a tragedy, have forgotten what it means — namely, that a worldwide web of Islamic terrorists has declared war on the United States. It’s a new kind of war, and one that many in America are assiduously avoiding, refining and denying. The Lamont-Lieberman battle is a microcosm of that new war within America, and it’s heartening that Lieberman currently seems to be winning the war.
In any event, though, I do feel as if I’m living in the dog days of summer. I’m waiting for something big, something determinative that will bring all these issues together, one big intake of air that result in a meaningful outcome — a huge, collective holler from the Western nations. It’s this waiting that has been making it hard for me to blog for the past couple of weeks. Yes, I have been blogging, but I feel a bit more as if I’m been bloviating. Events that have already happened have been analyzed to the n-th degree, and we’re all in the pause, waiting for the hollering to begin.
I’ve been trolling the news this morning (my treat to myself now that the kids are back in school) and anticipate posting on a lot of interesting stories. However, I don’t yet see the connection between them. There’s lots going on in the world, but I can’t see a pattern to it yet. I feel as if I’m in the pause, waiting to see if they result from these various stories is lots of little yelps from all over, or whether, in a few weeks or months, the serious screaming will begin.