Sunday, May 22, 2005

A Parable

Once upon a time there was a king of a great city in Mesopotamia. His name was Belshazzar. This king was descendent from the great king Nebuchadnezzar II who had built the city Babylon into the greatest city of the world (think hanging gardens). Neb II was a very powerful ruler and conqueror. He subdued a local city state, Nineveh (think Mosul). Nineveh stretched for 30 miles along the Tigris river and was 10 miles wide. (that's pretty big; see the map below).

In any case, according to certain sources (the Book of Daniel Chap 5) Belshazzar called for his pipe, and called for his fiddlers three, but made the mistake of calling for his bowl. At least he claimed it as his bowl. But, actually, his bowl belonged to the Israelis. And, as everyone knows, the Israelis have nuclear weapons. They had them then. They have always had nuclear weapons.

At this point, sources state that a magic finger appeared and "Wrote Upon the Wall." (apologies to Simon and Garfunkel). What this magic finger wrote was, again according to sources, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL and PARSIN." Well, that was a stumper for sure. So the king took a Harris poll as to what it meant, but that didn't help. So, he called in this guy Daniel who said:
"And this is what it means. MENE means that God has counted out the number of days you will be king, and they are over. TEKEL means that God has tested you, and you have not passed the test. And PARSIN means your kingdom will be divided, and given to the Medes and the Persians."
You see, the writing was in Aramaic, and the king could only read French.

A low and behold the Persians (think Iranians) came busting up to the walls of Babylon and Belshazzar was pretty confident that they would go home, because he lived in the Green Zone. In fact:
Belshazzar and his officials assumed that the city of Babylon could never be taken. It had been built as an impregnable fortress with massive walls, and with vast stores of food, water, and other supplies to withstand a siege.
But, Herodotus (think English Patient) tells us that they simply diverted the Tigris river around the city, and then marched under the walls. Pretty simple, heh? Thus ended the Babylonian empire.

(Now, if I had been that finger, I would have said "Babba, Babba, Yar" which means "when the river stops flowing, watch the big hole it came in through." But then, what do I know about disembodied fingers.)

In any case, the moral of this parable is:
When the Finger Speaks, Get the Hell out of Iraq!

1 comment:

Redjalapeno said...

Pretty well done Sir!