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Somewhere in central Iraq an aircraft lands delivering goods that aren't made in country. Nothing unusual in that; go to any bazaar in this land and you'll find imported items outnumber those manufactured locally. Years of brutal dictatorship, UN sanctions, and ultimately war to end both have left this nation's manufacturing infrastructure less than intact, to say the least. The task of rebuilding is a daunting one, made more so by factions that would see to it that success is limited, that progress isn't made.
That's the future, at least the future as those with any sense of optimism see it. For now forklifts scurry quickly up the lowered cargo door and hoist pallets of material then return to their starting points, unload and climb for more. A forest of pallets forms on the pavement, soon to be loaded on trucks for transport away from the relative safety of the airbase. Now empty, the plane taxis away to retrieve another load. Now full, a convoy of trucks departs for other locations around the country, the drivers will quite literally risk their lives to get this material to its intended destination.
The forklifts stand by as in the distance the drone of another approaching aircraft signals their job is far from over.
The scene is repeated in various locations around the country. The payload? The material thought worth dying for by hundreds of men determined to move their nation forward? Election material, of course. The future history of free Iraq is being written. Across the country the people express a commitment to democracy, a determination to vote. Should they see the reports from America they must be stunned; stories of "disenfranchisement" from here and there where the weather was bad and many voters felt the wait in line was just too long, thanks. This is America? Could these people actually be somehow related to the men and women in uniform here in Iraq? Those who are shoulder to shoulder with the people of Baghdad, Mosul, Basra... delivering the ballots, manning the checkpoints, ever vigilant for the appearance of the "former regime loyalist" and the "foreign insurgent" determined to inflict the rule of the knife on a population that has never known anything but?
Bloody days are in store. These elections will be like nothing before witnessed. In most areas of the country all will be well, but elsewhere a shredded remnant of the anti-Iraqi forces will make their presence known. Their efforts are nearly impotent; on a recent day five separate car bomb attacks failed to reach their intended targets. Yet even as their failures mount, even as their ranks are diminished and their slaughterhouses are shut down they know one thing that brings them a glimmer of hope: their allies in the world media will not let them down. Whether to simply sell papers, lure advertisers, or to support a cause they firmly believe in, many in the media are the insurgent?s final hope.
Lines are drawn. On one side, the people of Iraq, the majority of Americans, the freedom loving people of the world. On another are those who would behead them all in the street. A more well-defined definition of good vs evil has not been seen in modern times. The final days approach.
The second plane opens it's cargo ramp. The forklifts roll. Elsewhere a convoy exits a gate, moves to a highway, drivers and gunners scanning ahead, left right...
Elsewhere another driver waits, his vehicle sitting low on its axels, 500 pounds of explosives weighing it down...
After reading "Eight" I thought I couldn't comment because words to express my admiration ("The material thought worth dying for by hundreds of men determined to move their nation forward? Election material, of course.") wouldn't come, so I scrolled down and read "How Many Liberals..." and when I got to "ABC's Funeral" I thought we ought to have our own version of that "I'm Sorry" website the Bush haters set up after our election in November so we could apologise for the moonbats among us. But, no, they too have the right of free speech, so I'll exercise my own right and say thank you for the inspiring writing and even more for the work you are doing to help the Iraqis realize their budding dream to live in freedom.Posted by Retread at January 22, 2005 03:30 PM
God bless our troops.Posted by Lornkanaga at January 22, 2005 05:04 PM
Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring words. I've seen several letters from "our guys" in Iraq, asking for our prayers concerning their activities surrounding the elections and suggesting that January 30 is this war's equivalent of "D-Day."
I think they may be right, and my heart has been heavy with worry for weeks now. I'm afraid of what may happen, but I am holding onto my faith in the dedication, courage and ingenuity of our servicemembers, and the innate desire for self-determination that many Iraqis are re-discovering.
Pray.Posted by Beth at January 22, 2005 05:37 PM
Thank you, and all our fine military, who are working really hard to give the Iraqi people a new start.
May God keep you safe.Posted by Pat at January 22, 2005 08:04 PM
What ever happened to to concept of presecuting for treason--giving aid and comfort to the enemy?Posted by River boat rat at January 22, 2005 09:45 PM
Godspeed, Greyhawk.Posted by Paulie at The Commons at January 22, 2005 11:35 PM
Very inspiring words. It's a noble cause we're fighting for. God bless you and the rest of our forces, Greyhawk.Posted by Peg C. at January 23, 2005 05:04 AM
One of your many "BEST".Posted by Grannylu at January 23, 2005 05:26 PM
Eloquent written....I will be praying for the safety of all Iraqis who vote on Jan 30th and for all the troups who have willingly chosen to protect the Iraqi's as they vote, and by fiat, who protect and defend FREEDOM and the principals of democracy!
God Bless! Stay Safe!Posted by Huntress at January 24, 2005 10:39 PM
I honor your service. But calling reporters the insurgents' "final hope" is truly despicable.
And no matter how you or the President or the DoD would like to see it spun, car bombs that slaughter 26 innocent people are not a thing to be celebrated.Posted by jon at January 26, 2005 09:21 AM
Lovely post, Hawk. A personal best :)Posted by Cassandra at January 26, 2005 02:09 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(11) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)