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Monday, May 23

Someday, It Will be Us

I am about three quarters of the way through the book, “The Kite Runner”, by Khaled Hosseini.

If you haven’t read it, please do. It’s out in paperback now, so you can save a few bucks. This is the most amazing novel I have read in years, maybe ever. You learn what the Russians and then the Taliban did to Afghanistan. I don’t know if the book is going to address what we did to the country or not. As I said I’m not to the end yet. I will tell you that as you read about the destruction of that country, you will be thinking about not only what we did there, but you’ll be thinking about what we are doing to Iraq.

The book isn’t only about the destruction of Afghanistan. There is a second intertwined story. The other story is about relationships and lives. There are so many parts to this other story. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone, but especially men. When you read it, you’ll understand why. If you are a gentleman who might shed a tear while reading, be prepared.

Yesterday morning I read several blogs and news items. I found myself in a funk as I thought about the war and all it encompasses. My post yesterday told you where my head was at the time. Mid-morning Mr. Pop said he would be trying to catch up with some work and he would be using this computer. That’s when I decided to read more of “The Kite Runner”. As I read my way through the story, I found there were tears streaming down my face. At that point the story wasn’t sad, what I was crying about was that I fear someday someone in Iraq will write a book just like this one only they will speak of the crimes and destruction my country caused theirs. We will be the villains. They will tell of our awful treatment of their country. They will tell of our atrocities and our evil ways. The fear and sadness of someday reading that book is what made me cry.

Mr. Pop wanted to take a break from his work about mid-afternoon, and I needed a break from the impact that reading the book had on my emotions. We decided to drive up to our local Target store and pick up a couple of things. As Mr. Pop was driving I tried to explain to him the emotional fallout of the book. I tried, but I couldn’t because the tears began again. They seemed to freely roll down my face and would not stop. I don’t recall a book ever doing that to me before. I would try to talk, but the tears messed up my conversation. Maybe I don’t recall a book ever having that kind of influence on me, because I have never found myself so deeply fearsome of what I see our country becoming. We are becoming the country that other countries will despise for years to come. That’s new to me and I’m not handling it very well emotionally.

I think I was crying for about a million reasons and the story was the straw that broke the salty dam.

Last night I had nightmares. I can’t recall the details but when I awoke at three o’clock this morning I was glad to be awake. Fearful of going back to sleep and reentering the same nightmare zone, I forced myself to get out of bed. I would rather be up and sleepy than asleep and frightened.

Today, no matter what, I will finish reading “The Kite Runner”. I’m almost afraid to begin reading again because I don’t know what to expect. But I know one thing, reading this book has had a profound effect on my life. Not only because it is so beautifully written, not only because the two parallel stories of the book are so amazing, not only because the author is truly gifted, not only because he has the ability to draw you away from reality and right into the story with him, but because it made me realize that I am so very deeply ashamed and afraid of what the future holds for my country. We will suffer for what we have done. I’m sure of that now.

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