“This great country…mooing dolefully…”
21 March 2009 (Associated Press):
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, today dismissed overtures to his country from the U.S. president, Barack Obama, saying Teheran did not see any change in policy under the new U.S. administration. “They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice,” Khamenei said in his speech, broadcast live on state television. In his video message, Obama said the US wanted to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations.
This reminded me of Harold Nicolson’s letter to his wife, Vita Sackville-West, 1 March 1938 (Nicolson Diaries, I, 328):
Winston spoke of “this great country nosing from door to door like a cow that has lost its calf, mooing dolefully now in Berlin and now in Rome—when all the time the tiger and the alligator wait for its undoing.”…