Monday, November 24, 2003

People's War

The murder and mutilation of two US soldiers in Mosul, although no deadlier than any RPG or landmine attack of the past weeks, has by its brutality, reproduced an emotion that the Islamists thought was their sole birthright: it has made American's seethe. The task now is to harness this anger so that it causes maximum damage to the terrorists. Although the active fighting and planning must be left to the professionals -- nothing worse than amateurs getting in their way -- it seems high time for the denizens of the blogosphere to go beyond the keyboard and help get some back.

Despite the handicaps of holding down a day job, there are certain things that can be legally and helpfully done in spare time that will help the war effort. Here are some:

  1. Learn Arabic. There is a critical shortage of people who can monitor enemy media broadcasts, websites or publications. It will also broaden the information base of bloggers away from the product provided by the mainstream media;
  2. Became a mental warrior. Write plays, books, radio scripts for performance to get the message out. Compose songs, hold concerts, even if only in some community hall.
  3. Become politically active. Volunteer for the candidate of your choice. The political home front is the decisive arena of the War on Terror. They also serve who hand out pamphlets on a street corner.
  4. Get into the relief game, like the folks at Iraqi Schools. This complements and dovetails with the work done by the Armed Forces. And it works very well in conjunction with learning Arabic.
  5. If you have the aptitude, create a minor defense product, like a better sleeping bag or utility software. Make an honest buck and help the cause.
  6. Stay prepared on general principles. Train for a marathon; get some range time; learn land navigation. It can't hurt.

Learn to look at your civic club, church or neighborhood group in a new way. It is your battlefield, the only place you are likely to get some kind of payback for the two Americans whose throats were slit and skulls were pounded by Ba'athist goons. It is your field of honor. On it, fly your flag.

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
'To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods?'