Monday, April 10, 2006

Road Trip!

To Iraq. Who else but Michael J. Totten.

Not only is he putting out amazing material and perspectives that you simply can't get anywhere else, in print or on television or online, but have you noticed how good his writing has gotten? He always had the skills, but now there's a tightness in his prose, and a solidity in the voice and a keenness in the observation.

Here's a keeper from the first "road trip" post. He's at Gallipoli, site of the hellish World War I invasion that quickly stalemated. Some 8,141 Australian troops died there, with no impact at all on the outcome of the war. Michael quotes from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who rose to power in Turkey after the war and the Ottoman collapse -- the same development that created an independent Iraq:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us, where they lie, side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.