Nothing do I see that clarifies for me any more than all of that which has gone before, the necessity of the fight, or how long it might last. How many more must die, or be maimed, before we come to the clearing at the end of the path. Everything points on to a grim slog, a painful task that needs being done. And this is only one theater, in a much larger, potentially generational struggle between the forces of modernity and those of reaction. And make no mistake – even as events in Lebanon, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Baghdad and even Saudi unfold in a direction which could scarcely have been imagined a few short years ago, the forces of reaction are not about to strike the tent and fade into the background. Their death struggles will be titanic, because for them, like for us, there is no turning back, no possibility of surrender.
But I am persuaded, and have been for a long time, of the necessity of taking the fight to the Salafist heartland. Of winning it there, by supplanting tyranny with hope.
But there are some out there that just can’t get over it, any of it. They can’t get the politics out of their head, even while brave soldiers engage in incredibleacts of heroism, and some of them make ultimate sacrifices. They can’t get over the fact that the last national election was nothing if not a judgment on all that went before, and a mandate on how to finish – even if it wasn’t a whole-hearted endorsement of the process. These folks are justso damned certain that the war’s Original Sin blots out any chance to salvage a righteous outcome. For these folks it’s all a part of some right wing plot to… do what? Ruin the country, I gather. Quite how, I’m never sure. Many of them evidently keep their fingers crossed hoping for bad news (payable in Iraqi and American lives) while stuffing their fingers in their ears whenever good news comes out. For these folks, and their despicable certainty, I have nothing but genial contempt – and much less patience than Smash.
I’m an impatient irritable bastard usually, so I’ll be even more impatient. I can’t even discuss the war anymore with the folks that Lex describes in his last paragraph – it’s not worth my time.