2006 was not such a bad year after all. It was also a very interesting year. It marked the peak of the neo-conservative, american imperialist ideology and the latter part of the year saw the climbdown from the lofty peaks of righteous rhetoric.
As Nostradamus predicted, it was a man in a blue turban who rose in the middle east and threw down the newest challenge to the rather confused american war machine. In fact there were many men, and lots of differently coloured turbans which flickered on and off CNN throughout the year. Muqtada Al Sadr managed to become an increasingly important figure, while Nasrullah came from behind to capture the hearts and minds of a fractured middle east like no one had done before.
Sometimes the west forgets that the east is not different. Just like the pioneers in the west preferred to die in glory than live in slavery, so does the Arab. Nasrullah and hezbollah gave some pride back to the Arab world, and the arab world was ready to forgive the destruction of beirut and the loss of homes and infrastructure, just to be able to see someone at least stand up to the war machine. With the kidnapping of a few israeli soldiers, the destruction of an Israeli ship and the grim dogfight to the end with patched together katyusha rockets, Hezbollah at least managed to keep the hope alive in the hearts of ordinary arabs and served as an inspiration for others struggling to assert their independence.
In personal terms it was an interesting year too. I roamed around the country a bit and also started to throw my weight around work and home. After years of living in silence, exile and cunning, the combined effect of a months vacation and two months regular swimming made me sit up and demand more. So off I went to the US of A to see for myself what god and mammon hath wrought. The three months I spent there were very interesting. I didnt see much except the north eastern corner, but what I saw was fascinating. I still havent been able to figure out how to write what I felt and observed about the land of the native american, and maybe I will attempt something in the next post. I saw the summer and fall in the area between washington DC to Boston. I saw halloween weekend in manhattan and drove to the canada border to see the niagara fall. It was a lot of fun, but I couldnt wait to get back home :)
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