Maybe he hadn't thought the war through. It had seemed like simple fun when he had first pictured it, with a glorious beginning, a difficult but valor-filled middle, and a victorious end. He hadn't accounted for the fact that there might not be much of a resolution to the battle, and he hadn't imagined what it would feel like when the war just sort of ended, without anyone admitting defeat and congratulating him for his bravery.
This morning there s first a predictable story about Darfur; an expert on African affairs notes that seven thousand African Union troops patrolling a region the size of France have been ineffectual in preventing continued janjaweed terror. Funding for the troops is about to run out, and it seems that no one, including the United States, is ready to put forth more money or come up with new ideas to stop the killing and displacement. This is not surprising to those of us who lived through twenty years of oppression by the hands of Khartoum and its militias.
Max had to think about these new developments. He hadn't liked getting hit by a rock--his stomach still ached from then rock Judith had thrown--but then again, when his team had used rocks on Alexander, it had caused him to surrender. Now the Bad Guys only had three soldiers left, which would make victory for Max's team more likely. So now it made perfect sense. He was wrong to ban rocks, or even animals. The key was to use all the weapons at one's disposal, but to just make sure you won when you used them.
[Wars] can come in different shapes and guises, but always wars come in increments. I am convinced there are steps, and that once these events are set in motion, they are virtually impossible to reverse. There were other steps in the country's stumble toward war, and I remember these days clearly now. But again, at the time I did not recognize these days as such, not as steps but as days like any others.