"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."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kuwait is sandy; and other first impressions

Oh, my poor head. It has no idea what time it is and got into a violent argument with the sun this morning, rising as it did at my brain-time of 1030 pm PST. Gotta tell you, there's something surreal about watching Sunday night football and the Sox game while eating breakfast as the sun cracks over the horizon.

So we're in Kuwait right now, waiting on our last leg of the journey into Iraq. I've spent most of the last twenty-four hours in the sitting position on a plane, mostly in the dark (though flying in the first-class cabin made the suffering a little more bearable). We finally reached our camp in Kuwait in the dark as well, and while we couldn't see much more than the sand at our feet I figured the dawn would reveal a lot more. Yep, it did: there's a lot more sand at our feet. And hanging in clouds in the sky. What looks like smog is just whisps of dust meandering through the air. Not much to this camp either, it's definitely a transient shipping point, mostly prefab shelters and tents that look like they could be picked up and moved on a few minutes notice. At least they have air conditioning, since it's hot here. At least, that's what some of my tentmates said, since after breakfast this morning I slept until dinner, which in my head made a lot of sense, seeing as it was still on San Diego time (ten hours behind). So I'm paying for that right now; it's now morning in San Diego, but nighttime here, and I only woke up an hour ago from a ten-hour nap. Oops. Gonna have to see if I can swipe the bottle of Ambien our flight surgeon has and wash it down with some high quality reverse osmosis Kuwaiti water.

Well, time to head back to my tent and see if I can't coax my body into grabbing some more rack time. Hopefully there won't be any camel spiders around to keep me awake.

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