Susan and Eric are in Austin, where I would have been if not for an unfortunate visit from the Migraine Fairy. I hate sleeping alone in the house, so I built a huge fire in the fireplace and slept on the couch. It's not as if I was alone- two cats and a dog curled up with me.
Before I went to sleep, the fire was doing such a good job of keep the living room warm that I turned off the heat. Of course, it somehow never dawned on me that the fire wouldn't last all night, so when I woke up at about 5am, it was 60 degrees in the house. Yikes....
At least I can think again. The worst part of a migraine (and they seem to be getting worse as I get older) is that the headache usually disappears within 24 hours, but the nausea and fatigue like to stick around and put in some overtime. At least there are some good football games on this afternoon....
Rather than spend the day feeling sorry for myself, try this on for a little dose of perspective. I can't vouch for the veracity of the entry (Sean-Paul does that for me), but for anyone who has ever wondered why Iraqis haven't revolted against the regime of Saddam Hussein, well, this might help explain it.
When I first arrived in Kosovo in 1994, I naively asked one of my Albanian hosts why they hadn't revolted against the brutal regime of Slobodan Milosevic. My host patiently pointed out what should have been obvious to me. The Serbs, their police, and their military were the only ones legally able to own firearms. Albanians were left with nothing more offensive than kitchen utensils. Couple that with a brutally effective secret police apparatus, and I began to understand what I had perceived as Albanians "complicity" in their own fate. They were terrified, and justifiably so.
The situation in Iraq is very similar. So, before we judge Iraqis for their "lack of action", perhaps we should walk a mile in the shoes. I've been in countries (Syria, for example) where the simple act of speaking one's mind can result in beatings, torture, and/or death. Iraq is no different. It's a difficult concept for your average American to grasp.
Until you have talked with someone who has been beaten, or, worse, watched as a family member has been taken away in the middle of the night, how can you sit in judgement? During my work overseas, I've heard stories of suffering that no one should have to endure at the hands of their own government. We truly are blessed to carry American passports, and that is something I am beyond grateful for. It has saved me on more than one occasion.
When you hit your knees tonight, be sure to express your gratitude for living in a place where you are safe from this sort of government oppression. Trust me, things could be much worse.