Choose your enemies carefully… ‘cos they will define you
They have won a number of prizes, it seems, and it is easy to see why. They graphically convey the terrifying consequences of meddling with other countries’ politics and conflicts. For ‘what goes around really does come around’. A case in point recently is of course the CIA’s involvement in training and arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during their conflict against the Soviet Union – only to find that this group transmogrifying into the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
I’m afraid I couldn’t help but be reminded of some U2 lyrics:
First this lyric from the latest album (No Line On The Horizon), on a song called (appropriately enough) Cedars of Lebanon
Choose your enemies carefully ‘cos they will define you
Make them interesting ‘cos in some ways they will mind you
They’re not there in the beginning but when your story ends
Gonna last with you longer than your friends.
Then there’s this from All that you can’t leave behind (2000), from the song Peace on Earth:
Where I grew up there weren’t many trees
Where there was we’d tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you
And it’s already gone too far
You say that if you go in hard
You won’t get hurt
Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
Pacifism is regarded by many as an easy copout. And there are of course impossible dilemmas and complexities. But it is hard to fault the logic evoked by these adverts and lyrics. And this second excerpt evokes the minefields inherent – e.g. how do you beat terrorists? By water-boarding? You become a ‘monster’ in order to defend yourself against the ‘monster’. It’s an impossible battle. Which is why the appeal of the chorus is so crucial: only He can break the cycle of cause and effect by His infusion and invasion of grace.