A bit of an introduction here: This really has nothing to do with the Iraqi war, or any real war for that matter, although you may take it that way. It's actually a side piece to something else I had written. However, I felt it best to leave it open, so you can take it however you want. Anyhow, enough of my rambling, on with writing!

Painters and Poets Have Leave to Lie

It is a cold night; swift, cool breezes play games with crops and meadows. Skies are clear and cloudless. Stars form constellations as the moon's light beckons the brave. Dark enough to dream, light enough to see.

Upon the horizon - Armageddon. The sky is glowing red from fires not so distant. Flashes of destruction are continuous with little rest. It is as if the sun has crumbled and its fragments are falling from the sky. As if God Himself is raining fires of wrath from His heavenly palace. Iron birds fly against the beautiful stars and with arrows from their bellies, create devastation.

The people are fearful. Tonight, the fires. Tomorrow, the rubble. The future is bleak and war-torn. War machines with treads plow unforgiving through the streets. Sentinels stiff carry guns for protection. "These are not our guardians," one man spits in disgust as the intruders march by.

Morning light shows buildings once so proud and tall just sand. Beneath this smoldering debris, somewhere, a girl will cry. However, it is too late. No one can go back now. Not the intruders, not the watchers of this town, not the dead, the survivors, nor the mourning.

The intruders continue their struggle. Their willpower cannot be compromised; their mission cannot, and will not, fail. Giving up isn't an option. These intruders are not bad people. At times you can catch them interacting with those of this town. They promise freedom. Such a thing to kill and die for! They promise stability one day. Yes, one day, the warmth of the free sun will touch your cold skin. One day, the quakes from bombs will cease, and you will stand fearful no more.

But that day has yet to come. And every morning they are mourning. And everyday they are not cowards as they brave the war zone they call home.

How could I have blindly reported these people are so different from us? We preach their warlike nature. They want to be honest men, not needing to be fearful of their own. What cowards we must be in comparison to their everyday heroism. We report their scandals and call them corrupt. Is that any different from us? The ironies and savageries of mankind - we are all at fault.

From the waves of the sea came waves of soldiers. From the crisp breeze of the forever endless sky came the roaring fighter jets. From the rumbling of the Earth came an uprising. An entire nation had been reborn through the never-ending wheel of revolution and human trials. Sometime overnight, the autocratic nation raised a democratic flag over its capital. Whether this flag is forever or just for now, we have yet to see.

I know what I have seen. I saw the dancing of children in the streets. "Praise democracy!" they would cheer. Those once intruders were now heroes to the people. Suddenly, they could walk unafraid to the market; they could be free even if it was only for that day. What an amazing feeling. I can only imagine. Suffer oppression and war your whole life, and then by the grace of another man, be liberated?

That's not to say it's a happily-ever-after tale. There's a long road ahead for these people. "Rome wasn't build in a day." Well, neither was the idea of democracy. It will always be changing, as the people change. As will be this nation, or any nation. I guess, mankind is always evolving.

It's really a shame that most people will never hear this story. After all, as a reporter, I report what you want to hear. No one wants to hear a story that will never end, one that at any moment could become history. Although you'll never hear this in any official news report, you can bet your life that it's an official story. Painters and poets have leave to lie. Journalists? Well, we just deliver the facts, no matter how twisted propaganda begs them to be.