... and then came news of scattered attacks in and around Baghdad.
I was, like most every one else, particularly troubled to see that two of our soldiers are missing after an apparent ambush in Youssifiyah. An Iraqi man reported that two soldiers were taken prisoner. My thoughts and prayers remain with those soldiers and their families.
In the wake of this incident, I saw and was reminded of several things.
First, conflicts ebb and flow. The nature of conflict, particularly when the stakes are high, is to take casualties. During WWII, we lost many thousands upon thousands after D-Day in Europe and Iwo Jima in the Pacific. A nation must look forward and keep its focus, while remembering the lessons of history. Even a mortally-wounded snake is dangerous. We should continue to expect difficulties in Iraq and elsewhere in the struggle against Militant Islam. But we should also continue to believe that we will continue to have success.
Also, I was reminded this weekend of the imporance of the information war, and by extension the political war. I noted how anxious the MSM seemed to be to report how the violence in Iraq was a "serious blow" to the Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki. Did AP mean to report the continuing violence in Iraq by saying that "We hope it is a serious blow" to Maliki's government?
If we keep the hearts and minds of Americans, the nation will do what is necessary to defeat the jihadis. It's just that simple. Our military will always get the job done. That is not in question. The question that remains is: Will we at home remain true to our ideals and identities as Americans? If so, the enemy can not win.
I know, some of you think this is Polyanna, pie-in-the-sky stuff. Perhaps if I were steeped in a bit more of that relativistic bravo sierra, that all nations and ideals are equally good, then I would feel the same way. Ah, but some ideals -- and, yes, some nations -- are better than others. There is history, experience ... and yes, truth, after all.
All men are created equal, but all nations and ways of life are not.
In the wake of the news of the two missing soldiers, some commentators around the blogosphere appeared a little shaken to me. I was concerned, but I was not frightened. The incident reminded me of this image of a Japanese soldier beheading an Australian soldier in WWII.
And what good did such conduct by the Japanese accomplish? It helped to galvanize public opinion in the free world around the idea that the Japanese totalitarians must be defeated. Any mistreatement of our soldiers would almost certainly have the same result.
That is, the American military will strike back and with a vengeance. And the parpetrators will go the way of Zarqawi, he who once prided himself on his ability to commit heinous crimes against the defenseless.
Finally, this weekend's events remind me that the Zarqs of the world and their jihadi followers don't understand the mystery that is a free America. They don't understand those who live in freedom. Their dark view of mankind leads them to underestimate those who seek to live in freedom rather than under the Global Caliphate.
The totalitarian seeks to grasp all power, and ultimately to confine all people and thought in order to rule, but this is a task as impossible as repealing the law of gravity. So ultimately, the totalitarian can cause casualties, but he can not prevail. He can not rule the human spirit.
We Americans are as much an ideal -- all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights -- as we are a nation. The totalitarian equates mystery with disorder and falsehood. Yet, much of the great truths of life are bundled up with its great mysteries.
And the American ideal is true. Remaining true to it, we will prevail.