"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I think there's something in the sand . . .

. . . because I've been having some freaky dreams lately. I don't know if it's the 12-hour workday or too much silicon in my diet, but I've been having the craziest trips since I got my wisdom teeth out and spent a week chilling out on Codeine. Case in point: last night, I had the most incredibly vivid and detailed dream about having to give a brief to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was more like a book report; me and some other faceless guys had to pick a book and give a speech on its relevance to our operations. For some unknown reason, I had picked a Lord of the Rings factbook/atlas. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. I then proceeded to give a presentation on the similarities between our problems in pacifying Iraq during the initial years of occupation and Gondor's mistakes and ultimate failure to subdue Mordor in the centuries leading up to the War of the Ring. Highlights included: our cultural misunderstanding of Iraqis vs. ignorance of the customs and traditions of Orcs, staying behind the wire in FOBs rather than patrolling the streets vs. sitting back in fixed fortresses such as Minas Ithill and allowing the Dark Lord to rebuild his power base in Gorgoroth. I was hard-pressed to find an Iraqi parallel with the virtual immortality and unconventional Maiar powers of Sauron, but otherwise it was a damn fine briefing. I'm thinking of using the same material in my promotion package to major. Oh, you might think I'm crazy; but this may be the most detailed dream I've ever had, down to the maps on the PowerPoint slides I was using.

That's really the most exciting thing that's happened in the last few days. I've spent most of my time getting our computer assets up to speed, though the flying should (hopefully) come soon. It's getting colder too; we're getting the desert equivalent of cool fall days, which is great but also means that we'll be freezing our asses off in no short order. And I have an itchy vaccination scar. Things should get more exciting later.


Meghan said...

firstly - what kind of vaccination gives you a scar?

And I want some of that crack that is giving you those dreams. I can barely follow LOTR, nevermind give a detailed report to the Joint Chiefs of staff in a dream. My dreams are very hazy and the only time I remember them are when they are nightmares!

Andrew said...

This is possibly the funniest thing I've ever read, ever. I could try to add to it by making lame analogies between the Nine of Minas Morgul searching for the One Ring and hunting for WMDs, or the Ring being tossed into Mount Doom and January 20th, 2009, however this would do your writing a disservice.
Of course, I can't help your freaky dreams, but I can prevent your commrades from having nightmares - just don't head down to the mess hall in your boxers while jacking the heat up to 90 degrees - everyone will sleep better this way.