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Posted by on Jul 4, 2007 in At TMV | 1 comment

Madness, Theirs and Ours

At the end of “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” after the carnage caused by fanaticism and misplaced loyalties, a dazed British doctor wanders among the bodies, repeating over and over, “Madness, madness.”

That image can be the only response to the revelation now that an al Qaeda leader told a British cleric who lives in Iraq that “those who cure you will kill you.”

Canon Andrew White, who heads Baghdad’s only Anglican parish, met him at a meeting about religious reconciliation held in Amman, the Jordanian capital: “He talked to me about how they were going to destroy British and Americans. He told me that the plans were already made and they would soon be destroying the British. He said the people who cure you would kill you.”

Looking back, the cleric says, “I met the Devil that day.”

Canon White is too generous. If he exists, Satan would surely be more devilishly clever and competent than this band of insane thugs. As we face threats from their counterparts, madness is a more accurate diagnosis.

N.B. Six months ago, I used the “River Kwai” image in reaction to President Bush’s proposed Surge. It still applies.

Cross posted from my blog