…because of what we started in Iraq?
I left my home Monday.
As my family fled the fighting that’s engulfed our neighborhood in Baghdad, I gazed out the car window, thinking that I might never again see the fruit stand off our street, the shops where my sisters and I bought soft drinks, the turquoise-domed mosque where we prayed in the holy month of Ramadan.
And to think I’d spent Sunday in my garden, using the forced free time of a curfew to plant geraniums for spring. Later that night, Shiite militiamen encroached on our Sunni enclave; the reverse had happened in so many other neighborhoods, and now it was our turn. Any thoughts of the future were overshadowed by the need to survive the night.
I stood in my home, remembering how my husband and I had told everyone that we’d never leave. I looked at my paintings, the century-old chest, all the antiques that we’d spent days picking out so carefully in Baghdad’s ancient markets. They weren’t just things, they were memories.
I had two suitcases. What to take? I stuffed one with my daughter’s clothes and diapers, along with all our personal documents. Into the other went my smallest painting, a cherished Indian bedspread and warm sweaters for winter.
As we began loading the car, I realized that there was no space for the second bag. With a broken heart, I left it behind.
I told myself they were just material things. There’s nothing we can’t buy except our lives. Nothing was as important as my daughter, and I was just grateful that we’d made it to morning.
These are people, just like us, who are losing their homes — sometimes their lives. But at the same time I’m reading stories like this, Steve M. points out that readers at the Free Republic say we should do “whatever it takes” to win, and those at Red State want to know, “Can we can unleash hell yet?” That elusive moral high ground seems to be slipping away. We haven’t just lost it; we’ve deliberately trashed it.