Meeting Mr. Ware

Have just gotten home from spending several days in Washington, DC, where I was able to hear Michael speak at two events (Wednesday at the Center for American Progress and Thursday at the Middle East Institute; I will be adding the clips and transcripts and etc ASAP, but I just walked in the door and have to be at work in a few painful hours!)

First of all, let me say that hearing Michael speak in person is riveting. To say that he commands a room is an understatement; his turn of phrase, the sucker-punch-to-the-gut way he has of encapsulating events and concepts, the dry humor and raw emotion, the scope of his intelligence and awareness of causation and consequence -- all of that is in play far more than comes across through a television camera. Even exhausted to the brink of collapse (as I daresay he was at these events) he is a constant blur of motion as he pulls the audience along the path of understanding. He has often said that he feels an obligation to bear witness to the events he has seen in Iraq. I would go further and say he seems to feel the need to make us understand what we have wrought by starting this war (and whether we voted in favor of it or not, we as a country must own it) and that he possesses the rare gift of making people see what they would prefer to avoid. The sheer force of his personality and the rawness of his honesty demands nothing less.

I was also fortunate enough to speak with him briefly after the CAP event and found him to be gracious, humble, charming, and blazingly intense. (I could go on, and probably will when I have more time...) It was a privilege to be able to thank him for his work. It is why I started this website and why it continues to this day -- because his work is so incredibly vital. I could never do what he does, but I can contribute this site in order to make sure that his work is seen by as many people as possible.

(But if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, I definitely urge you to go!)

Also... Monday, CNN International is showing a 30-minute special about the Surge, the creation of which is the reason Michael was so exhausted this past week. I will post it as soon as possible.