The long shadow of the Watergate retreat from US geopolitical leadership. Gregory Copley Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Apr 24, 03:42 AM


(Photo: Characteristic architecture of the Watergate complex)

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The long shadow of the Watergate retreat from US geopolitical leadership. Gregory Copley Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Reflections Caused by Demonic Visitations When in the chronicle of wasted time I see descriptions of the fairest wights, And beauty making beautiful old rhyme In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights, Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best, Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow, I see their antique pen would have express’d Even such a beauty as you master now. So all their praises are but prophecies Of this our time, all you prefiguring; And, for they look’d but with divining eyes, They had not skill enough your worth to sing: For we, which now behold these present days, Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise. — William Shakespeare’s sonnet to the “Chronicle of Wasted Time”. Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. Demons visit old men in the darkness of early morning when stillness and quiet is absolute. They mean no harm. It is only at this time that the honesty of those they visit cannot be al-loyed with excuses, or distracted by the optimism of dawn. Old men can then see laid before them the chronicles of their wasted time and wasted opportunities; the pettinesses and vanities which forever marred their characters along the paths of early life; and the futility of the self-deception which marks the daylight hours and damns — and dams — the path to something greater. The breaking dawn relieves the siege of demons, restoring optimism and the vision of earthly beauty. Yet it is the shapes which old men see in the black which are real, and it is the colors of day which are the cloak. It is in darkness and privacy that demons can exert uncompromising truth in full meas-ure. They come only to the most fortunate, and even there they find few with energy still left to welcome them. They offer a chance to waste time no more; to restore fire to the blood that it might resist the obsessive greed of those younger and those still immortal. They offer redemption for those who will take it. In the Chronicle of Wasted Time and wasted opportunities of my own knowing it is pos-sible to see how societies have betrayed themselves through those vanities and ambi-tions to satisfy immediate lusts, when the larger skein went unseen. And we, which now behold these present days, “have eyes to see, ... but lack the tongues” to warn. When personal ambition, greed, and vanity are put ahead of the greatness of society — when immediate and personal gratification and material, visceral self-regard outweigh the deeper identity of the individual with kin and land — then the paths of history are distorted and curtailed. I was fresh to the United States when I saw what seemed the incomprehensible and disproportionate venom of the Watergate scandal break in 1972. It allowed the ambi-tious to advance their careers at the cost of the West’s strategic position. The Soviets used that event to strengthen their own position — postponing the revival of the Russian people — but those in the US who made Watergate the launch of their careers, regard-less of the damage to their country, showed how history can be distracted from its path by the teeming insatiability of ants. Most of humanity is unconcerned with the larger framework of history. Theirs is a pat-tern of behavior to ensure individual survival and happiness. Most react rather than initi-ate; follow rather than lead. Thinking only what others have thought for them. Follow an instinctive path of work, consumption, sleep, reproduction, and death. And this life is ei-ther secure or insecure, happy or not: dependent on the level of trust they have in the hierarchical structures of their society and geopolitical entity. But others, who aspire differently, seek either society’...