Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Into The Sunset

The headlines are flooded with good, but slightly disconcerting news. Iraq: France, Germany, U.S. Agree On Debt Relief , Fewer Palestinians back suicide bombings - poll, Iraq Official: U.N. Failed Us and Should Help Now, Iraqi council, neighboring nations clamor to prosecute ex-dictator, Schroeder says Germany ready to help on Iraq. It's the townspeople rushing to congratulate the sheriff at the conclusion of High Noon. The shadow has been dispelled. Saddam's capture showed them it was safe to venture out into the sunlight.

Or maybe we're in the wrong movie. The War on Terror turned out to have a mythical component. The bad guy, who for decades terrorized whole towns and destroyed every challenger until he became a force of nature, seemingly immutable. Till one day a stranger rode in from the edge of dusk and only the children guessed who he might be. And in the midst of the celebration of the villain's fall it may only be the children, not the men of the world, who will wonder at the silver wings dwindling into the sunset, bound for Landstuhl or carrying a last cargo home. Come back Shane, come back.