Thursday, April 21, 2005

Trying to Recover

I almost wanted to title this "Sister Cities?" but that does justice to neither group of survivors.

Last night I did my usual relaxation ritual--then I tuned into Nightline and watched extended interviews with Oklahoma City residents who recalled the terrorist bombing ten years ago.

And it hit me--one bombing is plenty enough to cause lasting damage. In the decade since, the survivors have shown remarkable resiliancy and their courage in the face of suffering is admirable.

But Iraqi cities suffer from bombings on a daily basis--this has been going on at a high level of intensity at least since the invasion (and, for some areas, on a lower level of intensity since the end of the first Gulf War).

Whether the bombings are the work of terrorists--or our Air Force--matters little. People are killed. Horrific damage results. Lives are shattered. Things are never the same.

If not an explosion, violent death can come at a checkpoint. Or during a patrol where the victim is in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this war, civilians are being killed at a frightening rat (See Today in Iraq's most recent post).

As noted above, this is NOT an attempt to mitigate the damage caused by Nichols, McVeigh (and, for the conspiracy minded, John Doe II). I do think, though, the damage caused in Operation Enduring Clusterfuck likewise affects those Iraqis who've suffered as the result of the ill planned attempt to make George W. Bush the ultimate Rhinestone Flyboy.

And I don't think Iraqis are all that different from Americans when it comes to how they're affected by acts of violence. My guess is that they'll display the same range of emotion that you'd expect from anyone. The invasion and the aftermath is, sadly, giving them plenty of chances to experience the range of emotion.

I wonder if we in the United States realize that...

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