Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I mentioned a second and final note of optimism I witnessed on the way out. As we were boarding the C-17, a long line of new Iraqi soldiers marched by from a nearby training facility. As they saw American soldiers our way, they began to wave and give thumbs-up signs. Not only did we wave back, but I must admit I swallowed pretty damn hard not to choke up.
I hope it's not too long before we can leave their country in their hands entirely... and I hope everyone of them kills a terrorist before the terrorist kills him.
Rounding out yet another theme of the trip, that of women in the military, Capt Jennifer King flew us safely to Qatar, even re-negotiating with Bahrain from out over the Gulf, when it looked like they were denying us clearance to fly over. Excellent flight, smooth landing, and then it was well & truly time to go home ... and be the DC bureaucrat again.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
From "Kubla Khan," by Coleridge:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !