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The Honor to Choose -- between Israel and the rest

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: democracy at work.

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 11, 2015 at 08:07

Hi, Waz. You said,

"We can fling emails or write letters to or go and see personally our local member of Parliament if we wanted to - about anything at all. That's what they're there for . Public service. Otherwise - what would be the point of having them?"

Hear hear! Give the man an ear!

I love the spirit, Waz. I was sort of noting something on the lines of this: Whereas Aussies sometimes get the honor of being snapped at by crocodiles or bitten by sharks, Americans (and Russians) have the honor of, with a letter to their congressmen, influencing decisions that can blow away humanity. It's the same sort of feeling -- the scale is just different. You said,

"The system works reasonably well."

Aye. and I suppose one's tolerance level of what constitutes "reasonable" has a lot to do with how one gets on in life. My Chinese son-in-law does a lot of travelling, often covering every continent save Antarctica in a year. He remarked about Myanmar a few years ago; that while the government was an absolute dictatorship and the country was toward the bottom of the list in human rights abuses, the people in the street were HAPPY! Apparently, their system works reasonably well too :-)

Let's compare the British system with that of Israel: As you noted, British MPs love their donnybrooks. One of them invited an Israeli MP to a session of Parliament once, who proceeded to observe a group of grown men and women shouting and throwing chairs at one another. The Israeli was aghast, saying,

"What's this?!" The Brit replied,

"This is how we run our government." Then the Israeli exclaimed,

"In my country, the MKs would never let go of their seats!"

So there you have it: The British MPs love a good fight; but the Sabras crave job security. I imagine that's because in Israel, a truly good fight, one with rockets, bombs and 72-virgin-crazed Mussie Wuzzies, awaits them whenever they go to a restaurant or board a bus. It's a matter of perspective.

Flag is OK - except we left behind being an extension of Britain a long, long time ago. But the Union Jack remains as testament to our heritage.

I always loved the Union Jack. The red cross of England descends from the Crusaders' cross; it displays not only the Christian heritage of England, but also the age of the Norman-rooted monarchy there that goes back, like the Crusades, to the eleventh century. Scotland and Ireland can boast a Christian history more ancient than that of the English; and the white-on-blue "X" cross of Scotland and red "X" of Ireland are testimony to this. All put together as they are, they form the most aesthetically appealing flag of Europe

Have you noticed, that the countries with crosses on their flags are among the most stable and free countries of Europe. Greece is the exception, of course; but even there, despite its rocky course at times, they are beacons in the area of history, longevity and democracy -- as well as Christianity. The other "flag" countries are Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Britain, Switzerland and Georgia: All the former are standard-bearers of order and stability; and the last is, like Greece, a bastion of historical pertinence and pluck.

Added to this list is the new Republic of Macedonia, which remembers its history in a way that irks its Greek neighbors to no end: They also display what seems to be a stylized cross; but in fact, it is a thinly-veiled variant of a Pagan symbol, the Vergina Sun, hailing from Macedonian pretensions of being descendants of the ancient Greeks.

During the American Revolution, we also boasted Jack on the Union; but on a field of thirteen stripes instead of Redcoat red. We went through several general and local variations until settling, upon independence, on a blue canton adorned with thirteen stars for the colonies. While this may seem redundant, the stripes represented the founding colonies; but the stars represented a "new constellation": Whereas the "better" countries of Europe, honor God in their flags with the cross, the Americans honored him in a different way: We replaced the cross, which had come to represent the king as vicar of heaven, with the individual guiding light vested upon individuals by their father above. The Aussie, Kiwi, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tuvalu flags incorporate both motifs -- which seems to be a nod to the friendly relations those countries have had with both the US and the UK. Of these, the Australian flag is my favorite for sentimental reasons; because I once saluted it as my own.

"There was a palpable mood that no one (except some local muslims) could sit back and do nothing about it - so the PM made the call to do something practical."

I think this is a healthy attitude. Conservative Americans, who seem to congregate in the Republican Party, are of a similar attitude. Both you ANZAC diggers and their US counterparts, moreover, have a history of seeing through their convictions to the bitter end. Jews, understandably, have generally tempered such patriotic fervor with discretion -- considering their long history of being abused and betrayed by the governments of countires they have sojourned in. It's that sort of attitude, perhaps, that leads Israeli MKs to hang on tightly to their seats. You went on,

"I'm pissed off that Russia is doing nothing. They're virtually right next door and certainly have the means to make an impact."

Personally, I'm glad the Russians did nothing. They aren't one of "us" (Americans, at least) in much of a historical sense. They were sparring partners of you Brits during the "Great Game" of Victorian times; but we Yanks were removed from that. There is a restored Russian fort in California, hailing from the early 18th Century; and the Aleuts of Alaska are Russian Orthodox; and of course, we can both thank the Georgian Soviet leader "Country Joe" Stalin for leading the Russians to bear the brunt of casualties during World War II. When you go to be with the Russians, you do well to heed Queen Victoria's advice to her daughter:

"Just close your eyes, and think of England."

Now that you've brought up the matter, note that the Russians -- and their Chinese allies as well -- are very busy indeed, becoming one of "us" -- of us duped Westerners, at least. That G5+1 nuclear deal with Iran has created a monolithic bloc of nations, namely the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran, that can pretty much push the rest of the world around and tell them what to do. This is the "beast" of the book of Revelation, in its end-times formulation.

Although we are both citizens of the above countries and their lackies, they are not "us" -- at least in the part of "us" that is "me". At the moment, they are strategic enemies of Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia because of the Iran connection; but in a few years they will be in absolute control of all the world except Israel. You and I will then have the honor of choosing, literally, between the chosen of God and His enemies.


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