In Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver’s final voyage is to the Houyhnhnms. The Houyhnhnms are horses representing unfallen nature. They speak, reason, act in accord with the dictates of reason, and speak without the capacity of falsehood. Indeed, their language had no word to express the concept of falsehood. Gulliver therefore referred to his own falsehoods among the Houyhnhnms as saying “the thing which was not.” Although the Houyhnhnms had laws, as I recall, they seemed not to have had much need for political life.
At American Thinker (which has posted two good items in honor of Memorial Day), Dr. Andrew Bostom tries to help National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe get a handle on a guy whose public statements are not subject to much ambiguity: “Ignorance, cognitive dissonance, and al-Sadr.”
I have a hard time taking Johndroe’s comments on al-Sadr at face value. Why does such a government spokesman or the institution he represents believe it serves America’s interest to sugarcoat such a murderous thug? I find it about as difficult to understand as the Houyhnhnms did saying “the thing which was not.”
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