Central View: From ancient Greece, Cassandra cries, “Me, too!”
In the days and weeks to come, we are likely to be hearing about Project Cassandra, an effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prevent Hezbollah, the main terrorist arm of the Iranian regime, from using cocaine as a means of raising money to fund horrific acts of terrorism against the United States and Israel. We are also likely to receive more details about the actions of the Obama Administration to frustrate the work of the DEA because the arrest of Hezbollah’s drug dealers might upset the Mullahs and cause the Iranian nuclear deal to fall through.
But, just for the record, who was Cassandra? In Greek mythology, Cassandra refused to be seduced by Apollo. And who was Apollo? He was in charge of music, art, poetry and some other activities of interest to the Greek Gods. So, if you wanted to get ahead in the entertainment industry of the Greek Gods, sleeping with Apollo was a way of getting ahead. Because Cassandra would not get on the “casting couch” with him, Apollo punished Cassandra by giving her the ability to speak true prophecies that no one would believe.
Apollo, the Harvey Weinstein of his time, doomed poor Cassandra to a life of pleading, “Look, I am just the messenger. Just because you don’t like my forecasts, let’s not kill the messenger.” Cassandra was so hated that she was not invited to parties of the Gods where Bacchus was celebrated. Nevertheless, despite her lack of wine, Cassandra continued to foretell the events of the future with unerring, and displeasing, accuracy.
So, if Cassandra were alive today, what are some of the things she might forecast? For example, it is almost inevitable that a drone, either on purpose or by accident, will down an airliner someday. Or, that the increasing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana use will cause a spike in fatal traffic accidents. Or, if the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and the FBI continue to thwart President Trump rather than concentrate on counter-terrorism, the U.S. will suffer, yet another, 9/11-type tragedy. While some events are easily predictable, we may see some unpredictable events which are very rare but happen now and then. The marriage of the UK’s Prince Harry to a non-royal, divorced, American actress might be one of those.
In the bad news department, Cassandra might forecast the reelection of Vladimir Putin. She might opine that Kim Jong-un will try to mess up the Winter Games in South Korea this February.
For good news, Cassandra might forecast the success of the Human Genome Project which may lead to cures for a number of dread diseases. Also, she might foretell the launch of a DNA-based matching service for singles looking to marry mates with good inherited genes, rather than bad inherited genes. The year ahead might see the European Union beg the U.S. for a European missile defense system. We might see a universal flu vaccine and an anti-obesity drug allowing foodies to eat all they want and not gain weight.
Yes, Cassandra, the original “Me, too!” female, will be in the news of this coming year. She predicts. You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and was a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Hamilton is the author of “The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: The Sage of Sheepdog Hill,” Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017).
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