I suppose that the answer to this missive about how to go about leading a meaningful, peaceful, developed-world life as our nation wages war in a chaotic Middle East will be something about taking pleasure in small things and finding meaning in everyday kindnesses, or something like that. But today I find it hard to write about the things that have been filling my free time - bike rides and knitting and garden tribulations - when more than 250 Iraquis were murdered yesterday in the bombings in Qahtaniya. It's a matter of perspective, I guess.
Just saying "stop the war" isn't enough, as much as I want it to stop, for us to be done with it, for the bloodletting to end. The U.S. has unleashed massive, violent chaos in Iraq, and every step forwards or backwards seems to just make things worse.
As Rove steps away this week, I am so angry with the spectacular arrogance of the Bush administration and its chief architects, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, for thinking - or at least saying - that American troops would roll in, declare victory in a couple of weeks, and roll out again. And still amazed that the American people bought their snake oil (I hope the snake oil concocter himself is taking permanent early retirement. Goodbye, Rove).
I am so frustrated with the paralysis of Iraqui leaders in taking productive decisions - heck, any decisions - to move towards some semblance of cooperation with each other.
I am so anxious that another hurricane season is bearing down upon the Gulf Coast, and our National Guard troops and equipment are wholly occupied with this bloody Iraqui whack-a-mole project. I don't want to imagine that what happened in New Orleans could happen again, but the truth is that it could, because our recovery resources are otherwise deployed.
Today's article in the New York Times about the bombings yesterday and the general state of affairs in Iraq is what set me off. It's an excellent overview of the quagmire of violence and vacuum of leadership as it currently stands. So what do we do?
There are plenty of lovely distractions from this crisis, things to make, places to go, but what do we do? Where is this lunacy headed? How can we as citizens use our votes, boycotts, donations, whatever tools we have to urge our elected officials to find a way to create the conditions for a troop withdrawl, a cease-fire, a productive political discussion... any forward motion? And by the way, does anybody have a plan for those things? Is there a way out? Or is there just destruction, and an ultimate decision to move on, leave the sorting-out to someone else and hope for the best?
What do you knit when you can't stop thinking about your responsibility for massive destruction?