19 August 2006


I ride the bus to work every weekday.

It's not a bad way to commute. I don't need to drive or worry about traffic. The bus driver does that for me. I can read, or stare out the window, or steal glances at pretty women on the bus, or even catch up on missed sleep. It's relaxing.

But sometimes the bus is jam-packed with people. And then, I think of Israel.

I think of what it must be like for Israelis doing the same thing, commuting to work just as I am, when one of them strikes.

I think what it would be like to feel the shock wave as some Islamist nutcase blasts himself into fantasized union with his imaginary 72 virgins. I picture the jagged metal shrapnel ripping through the densely-packed men and women and boys and girls around me, shredding muscles and lungs and hearts and brains. I picture their blood splashing across my face and hands and clothes. I imagine the pressure wave shattering my eardrums even as it also blows out the windows of the bus. I think of shards of metal tearing through me.

I don't really worry for myself. This has never happened in the United States and it probably never will. But I can't forget those people, not much different from myself, who live in the nation on the front line of the West where it abuts the wasteland of barbarism and madness, who have to conquer this fear every day for the sake of the simple act of riding the bus to work.

Their enemy is our enemy; their fight is our fight.



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