They say that a photo can speak a thousand words. How many does this one say to you? On Saturday a truck bombing in the Iraqi town of Tal Afar killed around 152 people. About 500 people were killed in Iraq this week. On Tuesday's attack around 347 people were injured and 100 homes destroyed in the blast of another attack. Also on Saturday, car bombs killed 9 people. And then 70 people were killed earlier this week by revenge killings led by off-duty police officers. Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, "We've seen encouraging signals of progress but we have to keep moving forward." I don't know what Ryan Crocker has been looking at but progress is something rarely mentioned in the Iraqi marketplaces by fearful citizens and the move forward is without foresight nor is it with concern for the lives of the Iraqi people.
There is a neurological condition known as synesthesia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia) in which some people are tuned for cross-sensory relationships between everyday things involuntarily. From seeing colored letters to hearing a work of art to words with certain tastes, people with synesthesia perceive their world differently than most other people. Now, I understand that most of the people (if any) reading this article do not have synesthesia but I want you to look at that picture posted at the top of this article and "feel" that photograph. I don't want you to "look" at it..."feel" it. This is what many people throughout Iraq feel everyday and it is a good exercise to feel that with them. By stepping out of your comfort zone and diving beneath social and cultural layers we can be on the same level--the human level. This person in the photo may or may not be from Iraq. This person may or may not be black or white or Hispanic or Asian. This person may or may not be a man or woman. This person may or may not be republican or democrat. But what this person is feeling is real and that is what this is all about. That is what ending this war...this conflict...is all about.