Ahhhh! The Good Lord has blessed with clouds and rain this week. We hit temperatures near 100 for a couple of days and then the cool desert breezes returned, and mercifully clouds blocked out the sun and the cooling and clearing rains fell. Our prolonged Spring weather is greatly appreciated. The plants and animals around here seem to love it too, popping up all over the place.
At night, driving to and from the gym mostly, I’ve seen quite a few little desert foxes run across the roads on the base. They seem so small, the size of a cat, really, with large bushy tails. I saw another strange animal once scurrying along that was so unknown to me I can’t even describe it. Then all these prolific weeds that have sprung up from the rainy season are suddenly bearing blossoms in abundance. There are small seas of tiny white or tiny yellow blooms, punctuated with a larger, vibrant red flower of some sort. Saddam even had some rose bushes planted here, but the rest indicate a resilient variety of indigenous life that must be dormant most of the year. Perhaps there is such beauty and goodness waiting to appear, buried in the hearts of this formerly repressed people as well.
The insurgents seem to be comprised mostly of the vestiges of Saddam’s Sunnis and family. Although a minority compared to Shiites and Kurds, as Saddam’s people, the Sunnis enjoyed some of the wealth and power that Saddam commanded. Used to dominating by force and cruelty, they still seek to instill fear by way of sadistic acts. The evidence is that the vast majority of their victims are their own fellow citizens. Although their efforts ultimately appear to be futile, they know no other way to achieve their ends. Perhaps like the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness under Moses, it will take a generation until they pass away and the younger generation can enter the promised land of peace and prosperity.
One thing seems sure to me. If (and I’m sure it will) this new Iraqi government survives, it will persevere because it will have withstood its birthing pains and been purged in its own furnace of affliction. A noble test to be sure. In a way, the desperate insurgents are insuring a worthy body politic and cultural mettle. I am convinced that good will prevail if it presumes to. But the challenges, bombs, attacks, will be a constant thorn, just like the desert they are born of. Holding the fort for now...