As I prepared today's smorgasbord of doom and gloom from Iraq for Kiko's House readers I paused, as I often do in the pre-dawn hours here on the East Coast of the U.S., and wondered why the hell I was doing it.
As my son Cassidy notes, pretty much everyone has made up their minds about Iraq. As the Dear Friend & Conscience notes, there are some people -- starting with the cabal in Washington -- who just don't get it and never will. And as a vicious regular at The Belmont Club noted in reply to a comment I posted there about the need to find a way out of the catastrophe that The Decider's Excellent Adventure in Mesopotamia has become, why should we care about a single Iraqi? Kill the whole bunch of them, he says, or at least the ones who are Muslims.
As Riverbend notes in a new post fromher Baghdad Burning blog, there are opportunists who are using the war to promote themselves. Am I one of them? The answer is an equivocal yes. Of course I'm promoting myself every time that I click on the PUBLISH button and send my prose into the blogosphere.
But I rationalize the time, attention and brain cells because I believe that Kiko's House is performing a small but important service.
This has included a focus on the kind of conditions that American troops are fighting under, the blurring of the so-called rules of engagement because of their commander and chief's shifting rationales for the war, and the instances when these men-boys snap in places like Haditha and Mahmudiyah.
It has included efforts to get beyond the numbers, including in-depth posts on the methodology behind a study on Iraqi civilian deaths that provoked such a firestorm after an article appeared last week in The Lancet.
So my lead piece today on forgotten victims of the war -- the millions of Iraqi children robbed of their childhoods -- is just one of hundreds posted here since Kiko's House opened its doors in an ongoing effort to get beyond the headlines and try to bring the war home as River and her countryfolk live it.