As I sit here and listen to rain scratching my window, out here in the North West of our country, I find myself thinking on Iraq. A funny thing, the mind, how it works, for this region of the country, geographically speaking, and certainly weather-wise, is about as far from Iraq as can be. Must be that the news, with all its talk of Islamic extremists is again filtering through my mind no matter what happens.
There have been a lot of veteran reactions to what has happened in Iraq, to include veteran stories (the more famous ones, I suppose) about their deployments there. Well, I'm not sure that I'm ready to tell all just yet, but the events out there have had me mulling many things. I know that I've been saying that I'll comment on the matter, but for the most part emotion has prevented me from doing so. I will soon, though, I promise.
One thing I mulled was my sophomore effort at talking about Iraq. The novel in question, The Struggle Trilogy, was meant to represent many things and talk about many things too. It was my effort to talk to the American people about what happened there. But it was mainly my effort, through the effort of prose, to understand a multiple stream scenario, as well as Iraq. On the latter part, I should say I was being too ambitious, or perhaps even disingenuous with myself. No story about a single neighborhood would tell the tale about Iraq going through such a tumultuous time—or any other neighborhood for any other nation for that matter. And on the matter of telling people about the situation there, as prescient as the novel is about today's situation, it really didn't reach out to many people, nor was it shared. A couple reviews (such as this one) keep my ego intact.
But a unknown project of mine is not the point here. Nor is it a matter of another veteran's reaction to Iraq. Rather, Ive been pondering the Arab quote that I open my book with:
"The Struggle Knows not the Logic of Morals"
I'm not speaking of what it implies: that's clear enough. Nor am I thinking about why I used it originally; that was to imply that fighting against powers that you perceive as sources for your iniquities will always be brutal, perhaps more so than those perceived iniquities may be. No, I'm thinking more on the matter of: how the violence around the world is speaking of some sort of struggle. And though my first reaction is revulsion—how can it not be so?—that there is something more at play. And that which is at play, that which is close to a nihilistic violence and will need more than bombs to end.
This was not meant to be an answer. Merely a pondering as rain still attacks my window pane, a million little creatures trying to climb to my roof. And no, I do not want nor need people to chime in with the theory that only with real fire, only with Dresden and Tokyo, to say nothing of Hiroshima, will we be able to change people. No, I need none of that. I want to thoughtful ideas here.
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