Equestrian portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares by Diego Velázquez.

Success Is Never Final 

Islamists see the currents of history flowing their way. They reign in Iran, installed Hamastan in Gaza by putsch, threaten Lebanon’s government and crow that they brought down the Soviet Union. ~Steven Huntley

One might say the same thing about democratists, c. 2005.  They saw the currents of history flowing their way.  They reigned in Ukraine (and allegedly in Lebanon), installed a new oligarch in power in Bishkek by putsch, threatened Syria’s government and crowed that they brought down the Soviet Union.  Usually, people who think they see the “currents of history flowing their way” don’t know what they’re talking about and find themselves getting swept away by unexpected flash floods of contrary events.  As Olivares said, “The first rule of all is to be for ever on the lookout for the unforeseen and the accidental.”