Monday, September 26, 2005


It can be so hard to keep up hope.
Time magazine's headline. "Is it still possible to win this war?" Is a perfect example. The true headline should be "is it still possible to lose this war?" Iraq may have come far enough that even if we were to leave now, democracy has actually take root, and the Iraqi people may stay free.

The danger of looking with negative eyes is that soon you no longer see. Katrina could have killed more than 100,000 given the incompetence of the Louisiana authorities response. Not using those buses left sitting under water might easily have led to the death of most of the over 100,000 who remained in the City. Instead, many were spared. People look at the 1,000 dead, and not the thousands saved, so it seems hopeless. The more I look at Katrina, how it moved so swiftly, how just before landfall it was a 5, ready to smash New Orleans, and see how many escaped, how many did get away. When you see how Houston with three more days to prepare than New Orleans, still had people stuck on the freeway, some of the anger I have felt at the authorities in Louisiana has gone away, when I realize just how difficult a job they had.

Living in the Bay Area, a member of an apostate denomination, I have learned to seek the truth outside normal channels. So when I hear the lies, I say what else is new?

Hope is essential.

Hope is simple. It is the knowledge it is possible.
Not that it is easy.
Not that it is guaranteed.
Not that you don't have to work hard.
Just knowing it is possible. The San Francisco Giants play San Diego tonight, four games back, seven to play. There still is hope. That is all we can ask in life. Hope.

Having a special needs son has taught me life is a marathon. Keep up hope. That is what we face. If in WWII, we had known all the horrors, some would have lost hope. But taking it one day at a time, not losing hope, we can persevere.

One thing that helps me, is to keep things in perspective. This morning, I heard two killed at a bus stop in Iraq. I said, if this is the best they can do, bomb at a bus stop, this is cause for celebration. Not for the bombing, but that what the enemy is able to do has been so reduced.

In WWII, the Japanese used suicide bombers, willing to die to sink American ships. This was not a sign of strength. This was a sign of weakness.

When we invaded Iraq, I told my wife it would take 5 years. We still have another 3 years to finish. We are ahead of my estimate.

Good things:
No Iraq civil war.
Free elections.
Free press.
No burning of oil wells.
Turkey didn't intervene in Northern Iraq.
Saddam is in jail and his sons dead.
Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon.
George Bush has guts & patience.
By November 2006, Iraq will be strong enough to defend itself.
No terrorist attacks in U.S. since 911.

We still have a long way to go.

Here is a poem of hope:

The last Chapter

Don’t be afraid
I know how it ends.
Read the last chapter
I win in the end.

Inspired by Adolpho Moreno (translated by John Bueno) October 8, 2003 at Coalition Gathering in Portland Ore.
© Presbypoet, October 8, 2003


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home