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On the sidewalk, I saw the colorful Superman reading what turned out to be “the book” on his tablet. I walked over for a selfie. But Superman not wanting to be disturbed, briefly waved me off and went back to reading – on his tablet. “I am reading the Bible,” he said. “Oh yeah!, I replied. “Uhm uh,” he nodded and continued reading. “Fine, I’ll come back then.” I turned, was about bimbling off when Superman, without looking up, said, “by the way, do you know Luther changed the world?” “Luther, …the reformation bloke, right!” I replied.

“Yep.” Superman, still focused on the tablet, replied. “He must have conceived a new perception of the Bible.” Skeptical of provoking an argument with ‘this erudite’ Superman as the words “conceive” and “perception” registered on me, I said, “well, things he said to the world of his time, I guess.” “You guess, you guess? Queried the half chuckling Superman – now tilting his head to the side and rolling up his eyeballs at the same time.

Now, feeling a bit slighted as I am not sure exactly where this discussion is heading, I shrugged – the middle eastern way, then helplessly probed further, “Sooo, what’s this all about?”

This time, Superman cleared his throat, looked up from the tablet, turned and pushed the apple product my way. He then said, “so was Hosea.” Jose what?” I stammered. “Hosea, a minor prophet admired for the depth of his perception in the Bible.” Gesturing further with a finger, he pointed to a line and said, “here, look and read, seventh line down this chapter.”

Now, more puzzled than ever, I hissed “What the heck!” Superman, reading the Bible on a sidewalk would have had the same reaction from anyone talk less, me. Nonetheless, I looked as he read out loud, “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.”

Now, note that quote, got me. It really did.

“Cool quote man, cool.” I said, drowning in the spirit of the Superman. I was in the process of taking in his six pack when my eyes trailed off to something new at the lower part of the Superman insignia on his chest. A set of small printed texts. All caps with the last three letters changed from ‘man’ to ‘bam’.

Now I get it, Superman is now Superbam. God! Who would have guessed? Superbam or Superbama. And so it was that I pressed Superbam for a public selfie, right there on the sidewalk.

Imagine me, a puzzled Christian, and Superman, a smiling Christian fooling around with a tablet. How cool, …’specially now when I look at the selfie and think, …call it a smile, a laughter or a grin – with so many names, it is definitely more than any doubly-coursed action.

Problem with enthusiastic allies is they have always failed to consider UK, US, Australia, Canadian strategic game playing and interest. For example, food supplies, gas and equipment for the operation in Afghanistan has been going through Russia for almost a decade now. And if the troops have to withdraw, the safest route to safety and home is through the same Russia. Pakistan is no, no. We all know that. Safe transition in Syria is needed for security in Israel, Turkey and Lebanon. Same Russia – an old foe to some of our allies volunteered to mediate. Iran is another issue. And who do we have mediating? Same Russia. If tomorrow, anything happens in North Korea, Japan and China…who has a formidable presence in Rason? Russia.

Yes, being grateful is for dogs, but we can at least reckon with a formidable foe that is willing to put on a new face, rather than shielding the monkey from the tiger’s fury.

Our top priority lies in getting the boys home. We need Russia for this. So, if anyone wants to fight an old war with Russia, let them do it on their own terms. Remember Pushkin’s comment about Russia and Poland being surrounded by old traditional foes – always wanting to fight each other and Russia.

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