Dream of: 08 January 2005 "Uprooting Evil"

I had arrived in Iraq. I hadn't intended to go there, but my plane had been diverted. Dressed in a suit, I was standing on a busy downtown street where one-story brown buildings lined narrow dimly-lit streets. Iraqis thronged about while American soldiers stood here and there. Much tension was in the air due to the American occupation.

A convoy led by a high-ranking American general was going to be passing there on a good-will tour through the city. Some American soldiers dressed in green fatigues were standing near me, waiting for the convoy. I exchanged a few words with a black soldier (about 20 years old) and I immediately felt a strong empathy with him, an empathy I hadn't expected. He asked me something about my wife and I told him I was married and I would be going home soon. I liked him. 

The soldiers had to move on. He held out his black hand, I held out mine and we shook. It was a very tender feeling -- holding his hand. Then the soldiers walked away.

The convoy came through. The general was in front dressed in brown (all the other soldiers were dressed in green). The general stopped and spoke to a small child, then moved on. His gesture seemed so typical to me since I thought he was only in Iraq for the show. 

I wished I could speak with some of the Iraqis. I recalled that I used to be able to speak some Persian. Arabic, not Persian, however, was spoken here. I wished I knew some Arabic.

I walked into a small restaurant and sat down. A few Iraqis were sitting around and I began talking with one who spoke English. He supported the Americans being there. 

I walked back outside. Shadows were everywhere. I was thinking I might have made a big mistake about my opposition to America's being in Iraq. It felt as if the Americans were combating evil there. The evil in Iraq was so deeply rooted, that this kind of American presence and force was necessary to control it. The struggle would be long and hard, but I was beginning to change my mind. Perhaps  George W. Bush was right ... perhaps the United States needed to be in Iraq, fighting and uprooting this deep evil. The revelation startled me. 

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