Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Return to Magdala: The Lure of Eden

Our year spent in the Horn of East Africa from 1973 to '74 was as foreign and as unexpected as anything which might have happened to us. Though it was only me. The conflict in Vietnam, which we had angrily opposed, was winding down ... and a new, silent war in the Near East was building. Fresh out of high school and very intolerant of the military adventures of the United States in Southeast Asia, when we were one of the last few hundred men to be drafted and inducted in 1973 -- 646 to be exact -- the Navy and the water seemed a safer option that wielding a weapon anywhere on the ground.

I often think of Vietnam and the Vietnam era during which I served; I think of the justification for war in Vietnam in parallel to the justification for war in the cases of both Desert Storm ... and whatever this one's called. In the 60s, as preparations for war in Vietnam were clearly being made, it was the same sort of snow job that we've gotten for this war; and we really ought to ask what the motivations for both excursions really have been. Protection or profits? And if both conflicts are related in the sense that they were planned by ill Uminotty to keep things functioning in tune with and in time with the universe and its natural cycles.

Was China ever really a threat to the United States or was the so-called domino theory in truth what we ought to have feared in the United States, if we feared anything? As it turns out, certain people with projections on their desks thirty, forty years ago knew what others did not know. And there are those, many in and out of secret societies, who if they know the future, they've been to keep it to themselves. Or else. Do you suppose that is a human, a mortal making these threats, or some supernatural entity? If the people behind the scenes are being guided by Mephistopheles, they have fallen for the mother of all tricks, just like in the fairy tales. The emperor's new clothes. Pride exploited.

If Vietnam and the Iraqi wars were both planned, if 9/11 was planned, what circumstances would this fascinating arrangement likely present to us and what are some conclusions we could draw as to its meaning.

would have had data involving the selling out of America by corporations

Why do I say that? Because I believe the S in Harry S Truman's name stood for Satan -- and if you'll listen close to a recording of Truman discussing the significance of the S ... he almost says it. But forget about Truman, let's even forget about Richard Nixon for a while. Let's go right to the top as to where this nightmare to which Americans are beginning to awake began. Three generations: a senator and two presidents. There's an odd reference to third and fourth generations in the Ten Commandments, which we'll get to. Perhaps there's some connection. We're not math people at all, but we've worked up a little equation pertaining to the cycling of generations, three and four generations; we introduce Pi as a metaphor. And then we want to be sure and mention another metaphor, a real one, a living symbol, so to speak -- which has to do with a claim that there were no weeds in the New World, the Promised Land II, not a one in this New Eden, but that changed when the first settlers sailed to the New World with the seeds of weeds stuck to the soles of their boots. I don't know whether this is true or not; but the encyclopedia is a respectable one, though it was published in 1954. And it has been my experience, that in the good old days, the golden days of gluttonous indulgences and consumption in America (actually it was pretty wonderful, but I'm a nostalgic retro freak.), that folks were inspired by the Abraham Lincoln story about him walking such a long distance to return a penny, Americans were willing to try to be honest and good, and offer a smile with every sale and provide every customer with guaranteed quality, courtesy and value. The gas station attendants did your windows. Dime stores began to stock the coolest stuff for kids, things made out of plastic, a lot of it made in Japan. We gorged ourselves on ice cream, because our parents bought it like mad, being so fascinated with having the glutton's favorite snack around, keeping it in your own personal icebox. The sobering experience of growing up with parents from the Depression, caused my parents and others from their generation to be happy consumers, as a buck went a long way, and America's shining moment of helping win the second World War fostered a nobility, an arrogance in some cases which caused us to think that America is so great ... she'll go on forever.

Now, we know, many of us, but maybe not even most of us that the party is over. This country will have gone full cycle, it will indeed have been a lively experiment, like a culture set aside to introduce organisms into a mixture. Somebody, somewhere, somehow became obsessed with America being a metaphor for Eden or actually being Eden. Hopes of finding Eden was what was driving Christopher Columbus, Ponce de Leon, De Soto, and those who came west were looking to find Eden, which had not yet acquired weeds, reportedly, so no weeds, but lush forests and abundant furry little animals for eating. What is it with Eden ... somebody, somewhere, somehow has been distracting people from what may be the real Eden ... and for a long, long time.

. Like father like son has never taken on such a frightening, evil , except in this case, where things are done and vows are taken which would be foreign to most of us

Our Navy enlistment, which we had hoped would keep us on the east coast as promised, and on a ship often in port, close enough still to marry a fiancee, these best laid, chaotic plans led instead to a place in the civil war between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea, which borders the Red Sea. Ultimately, our plans to avoid combat or ever to be in harm's way led to a debilitating head injury, sustained while serving on active duty as an intelligence specialist and cryptographer with some field assignments. At the time, it was not a satisfactory trade off to have been where we were to witness a biblically charged event, modern history in the making, when the final Ethiopian king would fall with no messiah, though one had been promised.

But time, age and experience while they don't heal all wounds, not entirely, these things do permit the sad sacks or the sadder sacks of this life to see a bigger picture -- some of which is fascinating, but parts of which still produce deep feelings of remorse and anger. They could have done without me and allowed me to become married and enter college, but they didn't. So, it is now gratifying to get in one final shot at our adversaries, to report now on all that we learned from living and working in the Ethiopian Highlands, beginning with a military coup, backed by Islamic factions and the Soviet Union, caused the United States overnight to go from a superpower ally, to become the odd man out.

The man who commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint "The Last Supper" may have inspired William Shakespeare to write what is arguably his best tragedy, if not his best play, "Othello, the Moor," where an African, a black-skinned man, is married to the white lily Desdemona until jealousy, fomented by a deceitful advisor, causes the relationship to be irreparably torn and the play to end on a remorseful and deadly note. Such might have been our fate, as jealousy over any possible suitors while we were away continually plagued us, during or three-year absence and even after marriage to the high-school sweetheart, who, like us, but not as much, was deeply wounded, shell-shocked by the blast our government set off in our midst. We're reminded of the final fate of King David, whose decision late in life to "count Israel," that is, to prepare her for war by counting or drafting every male who could wield a sword, caused God to hand the plans for building the new temple to David's son by Bathsheba, Solomon.

The man or patron in question is Ludovico "il Moro" Sforza, a duke of Milan and Leonardo's boss for the 18 years while the master artist supplied the duke, truly an art lover, with exquisite works of art. The House of Sforza, an Italian dynasty we hear nothing about in the novel or film based on a certain code, does in fact play a role in the mystery, obscured by a certain code, which is much larger and much more controversial than a whole lot of people realize. As critical as this man Ludovico might be to our theories, a ruthless man rising up from the dynasty of the House of Sforza, he is only one of a virtual calvacade of of characters dating back to biblical times who form the basis of a code and a mystery with great and ambitious designs. What makes Ludovico such an important and fascinating figure to research and write about is a certain feature concerning him which poses so widely and persistently dramatically identifies posed a stumbling block for a global

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