Friday, July 18, 2008

The Missing, The Dead, and Haven't We Been Here Before?

I'm about to be emotional. Bear with me.

Last night it just hit me in the back of the head. I sat with the San Francisco Chronicle and its lame coverage of the prisoner exchange, and I just sat on the floor for a while reading the article over and over, and grieving.

I am not an Israeli leader, I'm not even an Israeli, and I don't presume to judge the necessity of making deals to bring home the bodies of the fallen. For the Goldwasser and Regev families, I'm relieved that at least they have some knowledge, a funeral, maybe some healing eventually.

The knowledge that Samir Kuntar has gone home to a hero's welcome feels like a stubbed toe in the heart. I'm having trouble here. And the small, petty, malicious details--that Hezbollah wouldn't say whether Goldwasser or Regev were dead or alive until the actual exchange--are just so macabre.

And I wonder what's going through the Shalit family's minds and hearts now. And I wonder if there's even the slightest chance their child is still alive.

And even a world away from Israel, I know Goldwasser and Regev and Shalit and Arad by name. Here in the U.S., we just recovered the bodies of two soldiers missing in Iraq more than a year. Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty are finally coming home. How often did their names appear in the press after they were captured? How often did I see their names by a bumper sticker telling me to support the troops? They vanished. In all senses. And their bodies being recovered was on page A6. Maybe Israel has a point, trading whatever's needed to bring home the missing.

Maybe not.

Damn it.


mama o' the matrices said...

except here in Boston, where Jimenez was front page. Still, who ever said that the Boston Globe was a top notch paper?

BBJ said...

Glad to hear it, though.