THEY call themselves pyjamahideen. Instead of galloping off to fight holy wars, they stay at home, meaning, often as not, in their parents' houses, and clatter about computer keyboards. Their activity is not as explosive as the self-styled jihadists who trouble regimes in the region, and they come in all stripes, secular liberal as well as radical Islamist. But like Gulliver's Lilliputians, youthful denizens of the internet are chipping away at the overweening dominance of Arab governments.
Soldier on, brothers. Maybe, in some small way, I am pyjamahideen, too.
+ Touching article from this morning's (Pentagon) Early Bird about medevac in Iraq. An excerpt:
Wednesday morning, the Charlie Co. team was sitting in chairs wedged in inch-deep gravel, tossing small rocks into a metal can -- and occasionally at each other.
Suddenly, the phone rang. The team was on its feet and in the headquarters office within seconds. Two Iraqi army injured, came the message. In Amariyah, western Baghdad.
Less than 10 minutes later, the pilot, co-pilot, medic and crew chief had on their body armor and the helicopter was taking off. It was 11:32 a.m.
Flying fast over date palm farms and rivers, it took just a few minutes more to reach western Baghdad; Sgt. Kimbriel had pulled on latex gloves and was readying himself to pick up the patients. Sgt. Orange, his roommate and friend, was right behind, flying "chase" in a second helicopter.
Sgt. Kimbriel jumped out into the dust cloud raised by the rotor blades as the first Blackhawk touched down at an Iraqi army post in the middle of a Sunni insurgent area.
Moments later, he returned leading a group of Iraqis with a soldier who had suffered a partial amputation of his right leg. By the time the helicopter lifted off, Sgt. Kimbriel was cutting off the man's shirt.
He leaned over, looked the man in the eyes as he started to shake on the metal litter, and held up a forefinger to reassure him: "One minute" until they would reach the U.S. hospital inside the walled Green Zone, he said.
During that minute, Sgt. Kimbriel removed the rest of the man's shirt, checked his entire body for other injuries, found some perforations on his right side, checked his blood oxygen levels, and wrote up a report.
It was 11:54 a.m. -- just 22 minutes after lifting off from the medevac helicopter flight-line -- when the Blackhawk pilot set down softly outside the hospital, where doctors, nurses and interpreters were waiting.
God bless them all.