To help you understand today’s international political scene, we offer you this parable:

Once, there was a little, fat guy, with a goofy haircut, who walked through the neighborhood threatening everyone — men, women, and even children — with his tiny BB gun.

He caused a great fuss. The neighbors all hated the little, fat guy because no one likes to be threatened or to have their children threatened.  But no one knew what to do about the fuss he was causing.

Occasionally, the neighbors told him to be quiet, but the little, fat guy wouldn’t be quiet, and in fact, as time went on, he became louder and ever more threatening and belligerent.

And some of the children were afraid.

One fateful day, the little, fat guy walked into a biker bar and repeatedly threatened the men with his tiny BB gun. Again and again, in his squeaky voice, he said very bad things and made very bad gestures.

After a time, the biggest biker, a six-foot, eight-inch, mountain of muscle, bone, and sinew, turned slowly, and in a voice that echoed like a clap of thunder said to the little, fat guy, “BE QUIET.”

But the little, fat guy refused to listen and he refused to be quiet. Instead, he began to call the big biker bad names and to make even worse threats.

Finally, the little, fat guy took out his tiny BB gun and shot a BB at the big biker.

Having taken all he was willing to take from the little, fat guy, the big biker reared back, and swinging his giant fist of steel, he crushed the little, fat guy’s skull.

Then the big biker stomped the little, fat guy’s body flat, poured alcohol on it and set it on fire.

When the flames burned out, all that was left of the little, fat guy was a greasy smear on the floor, topped with a tiny pile of ashes.

Later, the neighbors wondered among themselves why they had paid any attention to the little, fat guy’s threats, and allowed him to become such a fuss in the neighborhood.

And that is the story of the little, fat guy with the goofy haircut, who made the fatal mistake of shooting a BB gun at the biggest biker in the bar.