Monday, September 18, 2006

The death of Roland

Long ago, as the poets tell it, the emperor Charlemange had a nephew named Roland. In an evil deal cooked up between Ganelon, Roland's evil stepfather, and the moslem king of Sargossa, the king would fake a false surrender, and head north with Roland and his party to return to France.

Ganelon made sure that Roland and his other brave companions would bring up the reargard. The reargard was attacked by an overwhelming force in the pass of Roncevaux, and wiped out.

Roland and his companions did not lose because they were less capable fighters - they lost because of treachery within their own ranks, because people who ought to have been trustworthy made common cause with the enemy.

Today, for some reason, we find many people in our culture making common cause with an enemy who has declared war on the West, and on America, right and left. We see this with the New York times gleefully outing state secrets that may have critical repercusions in the not too distant future. We see it when a movie about the (fantasied) death of a sitting president makes big news and wins awards. We see it when senators call the US military terrorists.

Will we hear the forlorn sounds of our own horn Olifant winding through the hills, sounded too late to save us because the treachery is done?


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