Wednesday, October 1, 2008

POLITICS: In Flander's Field...

To my friends who are staying in that area of the world...

Please explain to me what's going on in Belgium. They've been without a national government for three months? They are splitting up??? The Washington Post explains:

The campaign here is a modern-day separatist movement for a globalized world. This is not a war of guns and guerrillas in jungle hideouts or suicide bombings on city streets. It is a conflict debated daily in the news media, parliaments, cafes, bars and establishment clubs of a country confronting the schisms now facing nearly every European nation: the struggle over national identity following mass immigration from Asia and Africa, the preservation of native culture and language, and economic competition in an era of global markets.

Belgium has been without a national government for more than three months now. King Albert II has staged a rare royal intervention -- unsuccessful so far -- to bring
about negotiations between the Flemings, who live in the economically prosperous north, and the Walloons, of the financially floundering south. But the two regions, which have separate governments, can't agree on how to govern together.
That's right, kids, we're getting a new country... in Western Europe. Perhaps. Quick quiz: when was the last time, excepting the re-unification of Germany, that we got a whole new Western European country??? Best I can figure, it was the original creation of Germany and dissolution of Prussia...

Of course, I think Wallonia sounds like a silly name for a country. But I'm not a big fan of "Herzegovnia" (hell, I dont' know how to spell it), and I think "Tajikistan" just is absurdity. And don't get me started on "Micronesia."
In honor of the possible country of Flanders, I feel it is my duty to repost this, by Lt. Col. John McCrae...
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
I have this overwhelming desire for poppyseed muffins all of a sudden.

1 comment:

Michi said...

yeah, it's true, no one quite understands the border situation (lack thereof really).