Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"The Envoy"

I want to make it quite clear at the outset that this post is not intended to be facetious or even satiric. Just an observation and a musical link.
It just so happens that one part of the world is loudly chewing itself up in an orgy of blood-letting, something that's been going on for so long now that many of the rest of us have forgotten (or misremembered at the very least) the cause.
In this global family of ours there has to be a rebellious contingent, a maladjusted teenager busy finding a new way to break the family china. And as ever, there has to be a trusted senior family member dispatched to knock some heads together and re-establish some peace and respect.
And so we have the Middle East. In another decade long, long ago when the other world leaders actually possessed a will to see a fair and equitable solution, they'd send some big-shot to do the metaphorical head-knocking. Anyone remember Philip Habib?
Well, this song is by way of a tribute to him, I suppose. The last time there was a spike in the violence in the Middle East, Ronald Reagan sent Habib into the area to try and thrash out a lasting peace. Didn't get it, sadly, but his efforts inspired Warren Zevon to write this song.
"Nuclear arms in the Middle East/Israel's attacking the Iraqis/The Syrians are mad at the Lebanese/And Baghdad does whatever she please/Looks like another threat to world peace/Send the envoy."
I've looked long and hard, but it doesn't seem that international diplomacy is fertile ground for songwriters, and so whenever I come away from watching the TV news, it's this song that I've found myself humming.

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