Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Third Rail: Iraq

I spoke with a young man this week about his future, what he wanted to do after high school. He said to me that: "I would join the army if I knew I would go to Afghanistan instead of Iraq." I was a little surprised, but I took the bait and inquired further. He very simply said that because he did not support U.S. effort in Iraq there was no way that he could fight there. What ensued from there was a hybrid conversation made of half regurgitated rhetoric, and half interesting conversation about this young man's future. What I found in our cordial discussion was that we were both coming from totally different worlds. As a card carrying member of the GOP I had a very difficult time understanding how he could support our efforts in Afghanistan but not in Iraq. This young man, who was quite well read in current events, took the same information that I had digested and saw a totally different picture. We had a clash of World Views.

But what we were both able to agree on was that it is very hard to tell exactly what is going on in Iraq by what you see on TV. The problem is that TV, and other media outlets, are all that we over here in the States have to work with. We can be critical thinkers as we watch what is on TV, but we are still only seeing what a TV producer wants us to see. But now thanks to the New Media, and the good folks at we have a new option. Omar Fadhil is this bloggers name, and at times his English may be lacking, and I have no way to verify his facts but he is a new perspective. His blogs convey the Iraqi war through the eyes of an Iraqi.

I will let you be the judge of his work.


Blogger Lone Ranger said...

I clearly remember an Autumn day in 1968, when I was walking home from the school bus stop (my North Dakota town was too small to have a school). I was cutting through a yard, when an elderly woman rocking on her porch said, "I'll bet you're eager to graduate from school (it was my senior year) and run off to war." Her words stuck me like a lightning bolt. The truth is, it had never occurred to me to enlist in the military. I never thought about the Vietnam War. But what she said suddenly told me everything I needed to know about my father's generation. They actually WERE eager to run off to war, to defeat the socialist Nazis, the fascist Italians, the imperialist Japanese, to win another battle in the eternal war against evil. I was ashamed that it had never occurred to me that I needed to give something back to civilization. After I graduated, I went straight down to the recruiting office and enlisted in the Air Force. That turned into a 24-year career. Although the population of that little farm town was only about 150 people, I'd never seen that woman before and I never saw her again. I don't know who she was, but I owe that elderly woman a deep debt of gratitude.

15/7/05 10:55 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Lone Ranger,

I am currently enjoying the fruit of your labor in war, so if you ever see that woman again tell her thanks.

I saw that you are in broadcasting now that is an interesting jump from the military. There wasn't another elderly woman to help with that was there?

15/7/05 11:38 AM  

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