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Oh mi Khorasan

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OH MI KHORASAN: A Soviet tank graveyard near Kabul reminds visitors that wars usually end badly for invaders coming into Khorasan.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Am reading two books at the same time (actually three or more at any given time) – The Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston and Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler.

The first book is obviously about the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the battle between the leftist Spanish Republicans and the hard-right Fascists and Nationalists led by the heartless General Francisco Franco.

Preston’s retelling of that period of Spanish history is absolutely heartwrenching. The cruelty, brutality and butchery of the Fascists on the common people of Spain will take your breath away as you read those pages.

And sychronistically (something Arthur Koestler certainly appreciated, as noted in his book on synchronicity The Roots of Coincidence from 1973), the other book, by Koestler, is about a Trotsky-like Bolshevik figure named Rubashov who is imprisoned in a Communist dictatorship (USSR) that he helped create. Rubashov is to be tried for treason and executed.

The experiences related in the book that Koestler writes about were drawn from his time in a Spanish prison after this diehard anti-fascist was imprisoned during the Spanish Civil War. He goes into more detail about his time in the Spanish prison in Dialogue With Death (1942).

Of course the Spanish Civil War was a prelude to the impending nightmare of World War II.

Along with that, The Clash’s powerful “Spanish Bombs” and that haunting refrain "Oh mi corazon" has been literally running through my mind for weeks and weeks now. I can’t shake it.

In fact, it was on February 14, 2014 – Valentine’s Day – a day known for “corazon” (the heart) that I flipped open my assistant’s copy of Theresa Cheung’s The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World to the chapter on Arthur Koestler!

I set the book down and took a picture – and behind it was a framed poster promoting The Police’s 1983 smash-hit album Synchronicity, which Koestler’s work had a role in inspiring.

And in that Dust Devil Dreams piece – titled “Oh mi corazon” – I noted the urgency and anxiety I was sensing in the global consciousness, that 2014 was shaping up to be a year like 1914 or 1939 (“the shooting sites in the days of ’39”)

And then last week I was compelled to revisit the Spanish Civil War syncs and “Spanish Bombs,” while adding more from Guillermo del Toro’s fantastic 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth (see “Dawn of the horned man” for more).

The piece, appropriately titled “I’m hearin’ music from another time” I note how in Pan’s Labyrinth, “blood” plays a key, as young Ofelia is killed by the Fascist Falangist Captain Vidal at the labyrinth entrance – her blood spills on the altar below (see "From the bottom of the well" and "Time is on my side?").

In "Spanish Bombs," Joe Strummer and The Clash note the Irish tomb “drenched in blood” while in my most recent DDD piece, “Flood of blood,” synchronicity explorer Carl Jung notes in Memories, Dreams, Reflections the “rivers of blood” covering Europe in his dreams and visions preceding the breakout of World War I.

I say all of this to say that I was stunned this morning when I was listening to NPR and they spoke of a new, Islamic/ISIS-esque terrorist group called “Khorasan,” which they pronounced like the Spanish “corazon” (heart).

According to the BBC, these elite jihadists have been known by the U.S. government for the past two years and that they are “seasoned al-Qaeda operatives” who are looking to plot attacks on the West. They are called the “Khorasan Group,” a name dreamed up by U.S. officials and a reference to an original name of Afghanistan, and that airstrikes in Syria are aimed at this group with a name that essentially rhymes with “corazon.”

Back to “Spanish Bombs,” Strummer sings the second verse: “Spanish weeks in my disco casino / The freedom fighters died upon the hill / They sang the red flag, they wore the black one / But after they died it was Mockingbird Hill.”

The red flag represented communism during the Spanish Civil War while the black flag represented anarchism.

Curiously, while researching Khorasan, I learn that there is a flag for Khorasan – it is a black flag with a sunrise (Khorasan is “the land of the sunrise”) and a scale and a verse from the Quran which allegedly calls for tolerance and diversity, interestingly enough.

Of course the Khorasan people - Afghans - fought the Soviet communists for many years and ultimately defeated them. Does that mean we are heading into a war with those overtones and the entrance of Russia into what is shaping up to be a world war, as Pope Francis has warned? After all, the fascists are on the march in Ukraine. Violent ISIS/Khorasan extremists are fighting the Great Satan/Uncle Sam. 

Oh mi corazon, indeed ... or is that "Oh mi Khorasan?"

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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