Sunday, July 1, 2007

Clairvoyance or just a keen grasp of the obvious?

This is a long way around to a point, so bear with me...
One of the annoying things about many political and religious arguments is the absolute certainty with which each side holds its view. My example today is the notion in liberal Protestant circles that because the gospel of Mark quotes Jesus's prediction that the Temple would be destroyed, it must have been written after the Temple's destruction in 70 AD.
I'm not even an amateur Biblical scholar; but to any Jew in Jesus's time and place with even a casual knowledge of Jewish and Roman history, of the brutal Roman suppressions of Jewish revolts, this was not a prediction but a foregone conclusion. You knew how things were going to end; the question was, what would happen next?
So, here are a few foregone conclusions:
1) Hamas and Hizbollah will continue to shoot rockets at Israel. A couple years ago they were killing Jews in tens and twenties in homicide attacks; now they can only kill in ones and twos. As soon as they have the means to do so, they will attempt to kill Jews in the hundreds or thousands.
2) Not all Islamofascists are bungling idiots. Sooner or later they will succeed in a catastrophic attack- in London or Glasgow or New York or Washington.
3) There will be another Mideast war, maybe not this month or this summer but soon. A rational Bashir Assad would not attack Israel directly; a conventional Israel- Syria war will be like Godzilla meets Bambi. Is Bashir Assad rational? Is Hamas or Hizballah or Ahmadinejad?
4) Musharraf's governement in Pakistan will fall, and be replaced by something worse. A really nasty pro west strong man or more likely, a Taliban.

The questions is, what will happen next? What will we- the Israelis, British, Americans, Indians- do?
Old Chinese curse: may you live in interesting times.

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