A Whisper of Progress

I remember thinking, in the days after Live 8, how well things were going. The world seemed to be getting better. People were campaigning to Make Poverty History; everybody was looking forward to the Olympics announcement; the G8 were meeting to try to start sorting out climate change. Things just seemed good. Then came the bombs in London, and I felt stupid for thinking like that. The next couple of weeks were terrible. Poverty wasn’t made history; the media was saturated with what I considered to be entirely the wrong message, namely apologising for terrorists; huge casualties in Iraq dominated the headlines; then came another attack in London.

Since, though, I can feel a little optimism creeping back. Poverty wasn’t fixed, but a good start was made. The police captured the four attempted bombers. Yes, London’s still on a seriously high alert, but the anti-terrorism agencies do seem to have a level of expertise. The USA has finally admitted to the reality of climate change. The terrorist apologists are losing ground as people have time to really consider what it is they’re saying. But still there’s Iraq, which seems to be descending further and further into chaos. Except…

The drink-soaked Popinjays linked to this Iraq soldier‘s blog today. I’m going to copy the same paragraph they did, as I think it’s powerful:

One more plug before I finish. Things are good here. Regardless of what you hear on the news. The terrorists are losing, and losing bad. If you can’t see that, you need to open your eyes. They have resorted to such cowardly tactics as suicide bombers targeting civilians. Civilians! What did the civilians ever do to the terrorists? Nothing. But it doesn’t matter. The terrorists are only here (from other countries mind you) to create havoc. It’s not working too well. For every huge explosion you see on CNN, there were probably two dozen that were prevented by quick thinking, hard working soldiers. You don’t hear about that on the news though. You don’t hear about the 18 year old machine gunner who shot a suspicious vehicle trying to enter their convoy which turned out to be an attempted suicide bomber. This hero is not on CNN for saving the lives of fellow soldiers and Iraqi civilians alike. You don’t hear about how many lives were saved when the Iraqi army raided a small village and destroyed hundreds of would be IED’s. No, that is not news my friends. But when some pus nuts friggin terrorist blows up innocent people in the middle of a market, you are told by the media that we are losing the war and that we shouldn’t be here. Well, we should. When you work with these people daily, you see what the hard work is doing. When the kids are anxious to go to school to learn about the world around them, you realize that we should be here. I hope the trend continues, and that the terrorists run out of cowardly suicide volunteers. Can there be that many stupid people around? Iraq doesn’t have any left. Neither does Iran. These terrorists are from Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, ect. I hope the people fight back. They are starting to, believe me. Yesterday we were tipped off by a man in the village about a house that had already been searched. When soldiers went back inside to search more carefully a cleverly hidden sniper rifle was found. How many people had this terrorist killed? How many would he have killed had we not been tipped off? A big thanks goes out to that civilian. That Arab wants to see his country make something of it’s self. I do too. And you know what, I think it will.

I quote this not to say anything about the war, or the media, or terrorism. Maybe it’s entirely true and maybe it isn’t. Who knows whether his perspective on events is accurate. But aren’t you happier for hearing that somebody over there is thinking like this? I am.

Whisper it if you like, but perhaps, before long, things won’t seem quite so bad.