Some folks sure know how to put the pang into birth pangs

July 25, 2006

Woah. I just became anonymously famous again.

There’s been a fair amount of scorn leveled at Condi Rice on the left blogosphere for her chirruppy talk about the death and destruction raining down on Israel and Lebanon right now as the “birth pangs” of a new Middle East. No one seems to have noticed it was code talk, that had a potentially sinister edge to it, for those with ears to hear .

So when, in the discussion of Soros’s new book at Firedoglake, Digby mentioned it again as an instance of the Bushies’ cockeyed optimism, I dropped in a comment (#178). “Birth pangs” are of course the way that Jesus talks in Q, the ur-document for the gospels, about the “wars and rumors of wars” that will precede the hour of His return. Thus, Condi was quietly reassuring Bush’s fundamentalist base that his support of the Lebanon war, and his refusal to feign interest in a cease-fire, were just him doing his bit of midwifery, as an upstanding Christian, to hasten the Apocalypse.

Now Digby has catapulted the meme, crediting “one of the commenters”. What an unpredictable megaphone this Internet medium is.

For the fundamentalist base, more wars – especially in the Middle East – is a good thing, because it will usher in a more rapid Rapture. For the neocons, more wars – especially in the Middle East – is a good thing, because it constitutes “creative destruction”, hastening the final secular showdown in which American nukes will decide the issue.

For the rest of us, it’s hard to distinguish where Condi’s “birth pangs” end and Cheney’s “last throes” begin. The span of human life they appear to envision between the two is nasty, brutish, and short.



  1. Your referenced comment turns out to be #178, but outside of that teensy bit of trivia, I congratulate you for bringing this into the daylight.

  2. SNL Al has Team Franken to ensure that everything in his writings is either true, or else it’s a joke.

    It’s nice to know that Tinsel Wing and Pickle Lips Now have their own dedicated squad of fact checkers on the case.

    Typo is fixed, thanks.

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