No, it had to do with Serenity's comments about a place where it might be useful to start a frame for the discussion of a lot of the middle eastern conflict. She suggested a time line, and that world war one might be a good place to use as a floor for the discussion. I think she was trying to be helpful in general by keeping the discussion focused in somewhat historical time. My contention has been from time to time that in many ways we are still dealing with a section of the world where the crusades remain a hot button issue, quite unresolved, and that the fall of Constantinopole still gives folks a great deal of pride. The whole concept of time is different in the middle east.
So Serenity was trying to put a floor of sorts under the conflict. I may be stretching things by saying in part out of affection for you, Mike, but it's certainly possible, and you're certainly the sort of guy who does inspire loyalty. Perhaps I'm wrong about that part of Serenity's motivation, and the whole notion of giving the discussion some sort of frame is in some ways useful anyway.
So that's my take on what the discussion's about, Mike, though I may be wrong. I know that you're capable of taking care of yourself, but you inspire affection in others if not always agreement.
Myself, I think that we think about the middle east in very short term ways. The guy who seemed to understand the area best was TE Lawrence, and he inspired fanatic loyalty among some of his arab friends. His academic work at Oxford included his thesis, which was on, of all things, Crusader castles.
I think it may be even more basic, old enough to get coded into the basic cultural ways of experiencing time and distance that Edward T. Hall talks about in The Hidden Dimension and some of his other books. As an old traveling man, Mike, I think you might find some of those books a lot of fun.
Anyway, I can see that you might feel like we're drifting off base, so I'm sorry if you feel that way, and I'll try to stick closer in the future.