Nations can begin, or end, at a diplomat’s whim.
Tallyrand would never be caught 'choque, profondement choque’ at Babylon’s borders being in flux, for he realized words are not permanent thing. The very name France is but the inky shadow of a failure of diplomacy in 732 , France's problem was Charlemagne’s illiterate and bellicose grandfather, who was not a Quai D’Orsay kind of guy .
Yet though Charles the Hammer may not have been suave as Attila the Hun, where might we be had he chaired the first Paris Peace Talks instead of the Battle of Tours? Consider this parchment web page:
Agence Frank-Presse DCCXXXII :
The Saracens are here to stay. Gaulish leader Jax Chiractacus has vetoed the ultimatum demanding their withdrawal issued by King Dagobert’s controversial national security advisor, Charles Martel.
"Contrary to what Martel says,the Moors are in full compliance with resolution MCDXLI“
Chief Weapons Inspector Getablix informed the United Normans General Assembly today.
” We found no evidence of Greek fire, plague infested dead horses, or other weapons of mass destruction in the Saracen camp. Even if Emir Abdullah had them, none of his trebuchets are capable of launching missiles more than 75 paces.
As to proliferation threats elsewhere in heathendom , as a Druid, I frankly worry more about Greek fire causing global warming, or the North Frisians obtaining weapons grade iron.”
Chiractacus, interviewed in the triclinium of his villa near Lutece, dismissed these protests :
“What’s all this about an ‘axis of infidels’ – Martel been using those perfidious Angles as speechwriters again? The guy can't even read his own press releases!
A bunch of Saracens chasing deer through the Aquitaine is hardly a casus belli - all this talk of an invasion is an affront to the Peace of God.
Who cares if there are 80,000 of them- they’ve co-existed with Constantinople for ages, and I think they’re real gentlemen. They rape, pillage, loot and burn less than the guests at a Norman funeral, and they eat like birds- they don’t touch the wine or the roast boar.
I’ve begun to see why since I swapped my old cook, Dysenterix, for a Saracen chef. Amazing man , Cardoon Ramses. Hell on the kitchen staff, but makes anything that moves delicious, from frogs to snails, and brews a hot black potion fit to rattle God’s teeth. You reporters better hop to the vomitorium and make room for some. We’ve six more courses to go”
Another luncheon guest, Substerno Singetorix, Dean of the Salic Law School, and former Ambassador to the Huns, also scoffed at Martel’s policy initiative:
“An ultimatum? Of all the indomitable gall!
What does that hammerhead think this is, the dark ages? These Saracens are just the blowback from the Vandals invading Africa and covering Carthage in political graffiti. What goes around comes around.
We’ve in an era of multi-tribal alliances and culinary relativism. We can't let King Dagobert's delusions of chivalry send Austrasia the way of failed states like Camelot.
Instead of fantasizing about missile shields making the longbow impotent and obsolete, we need to exercise our powers of diplomacy by breaking bread with the Saracens at the next meeting of the Organization of Pepper Exporting Caliphates .
Very good bread it is too, white crusty stuff, not that moldy pumpernickel Martel gnaws on when he isn’t chewing on wild musrooms or his shield rim.
I know some guys in the NeoConstantine think tanks, like Francis The Tartar, expect the universal acceptance of dark age values to lead to the end of history , I'd say that too if the boss had an elephant ready to stomp on my tonsure, but as a Stoic Realist I don't the Angle-Armorican special relationship translates into the overthrow of the Caliph of Baghdad.
It would take a Holy Roman Emperor to pull that off, and I don’t expect to see one anytime before the Millennium. Do the math- from now until M gives Byzantine diplomacy CCLXVII years to strive towards a kinder, gentler, oriental despotism. With Goths at the gates, and Odinofascists like Grendel crashing into mead halls 100 leagues from here, this is no time for a clash of civilizations, let alone a high crusade. "