Aftermath Essay -- June 2, 2003
: Provocative NewsHour essay on America in Iraq: "Somewhere on the desert tonight, I am certain of it, a young American soldier is momentarily entranced by some aspect of the world he has entered to convert. The music or the spices, the colors, the voices, the eyes. He will return home himself converted, because he has experienced an intimacy by which I mean he has eaten, he has looked, he has breathed.
Even as Washington plans to reconfigure the desert, the Middle East draws ever closer to the average American. Islam is now so much a part of the American imagination and the American landscape, it will be impossible hence forward for participants at a congressional prayer meeting not to name Islam along with Christianity or Judaism, for Islam is now a major faith of the American people.
And American college students who could not put their fingers on the capital of North Dakota, nevertheless are already able to distinguish the Kurdish north of Iraq from the Shiite south. The victor is always surprised. Who in France could have foretold that a result of French imperial ambitions in North Africa would be an Arabic Marseilles? " 7:49:15 PM