Desires of the Human Heart
In a Baghdad neighborhood where residents have been subject to methodical slaughter, the 1-4 Cavalry from Fort Riley, Kansas has found an abandoned Christian college to be an island in the storm.
Michael captures the desolation and the toll of human life from the continuing civil war in words and photos that evoke the End of Days.
"Most of the families in the vicinity have fled. People are murdered nearby every day, and during just one of the days I was with 1-4 Cavalry, they reported finding three murder victims. The Iraqi police and our soldiers told me that murders are down since the security plan began, yet our people still found fourteen human bodies over the period of one week. The enemy kills entire families including small children."
"The people who could leave have mostly gone. Many of the wealthy and the educated have abandoned Iraq. The lights rarely come on here."
And yet Michael writes,
"And on these empty streets, a practiced eye regards the slivers of hope that are strewn among all the chards of broken glass."
Whatever the result from this war, we are incredibly indebted to Michael Yon and the others who bring us the ground-level view of soldiers dealing with a disintegrating civilization.
Civilizations have fallen into barbarism in past ages and we have evidently not learned enough to prevent this from happening again.
Perhaps we can learn from Michael’s observations and the observations
of others to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
We have all known individuals who were so self-destructive that they
will use freely offered help to destroy themselves. Can we learn to
understand when a culture is so set on destroying itself that our help
is going to cost us more then we can possibly save?
Iraq is like a person with multiple personalities and not one of them
is strong enough to take charge. There is so much beauty, intelligence
and courage in Iraq that it is appalling to see how rampant insanity
has disfigured and debased a once-beautiful country.
What is more troubling is the growing realization that this insanity is
contagious and it is beginning to affect our own emotional stability. I
feel there are no easy answers and I’m not sure what questions make
sense right now.
I do know that it is folly to pour resources in to an area of
confusion, because the resources will be diverted or wasted.
this in New Orleans where money and help was wasted and is still being
wasted. When there is no stable government, there is no one to
recognize aid and put it to intelligent use.
Furthermore, when we try to prop up a government
that is unable to create a consensus, we become the "government" and
inherit all of the problems with none of the connections that will
enable us to turn over the reins to duly constituted authority.
It may be that allowing Iraq to separate into homogeneous sections that
are capable of self-rule is the only way to extricate ourselves.
Read Michael’s latest dispatch and let me know what your thoughts are.