Do things look better from afar?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

From a distance the world looks blue and green, and the snow-capped mountains white. From a distance the ocean meets the stream, and the eagle takes to flight.

On Wednesday a 22-year-old woman strapped a bomb to her body and blew herself to pieces. Four people died with her; seven others were wounded. This suicide bomber was also the mother of two young children.

From a distance, there is harmony, and it echoes through the land.

It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace, it's the voice of every man.

On Tuesday night Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli settler driving near the Jewish settlement of Talmon in the West Bank. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said it had carried out the shooting in response to a "widespread campaign" by Israeli soldiers, who have killed some of the group's members during a series of recent raids in Palestinian cities and towns.

From a distance we all have enough, and no one is in need.

And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed.

U.S. forces moved a step closer Wednesday in their hunt for the most wanted in Saddam Hussein's former regime, detaining his four nephews in a pre-dawn raid in the central city of Samarra. Hours later, a car bomb exploded in front of a police station in the central Iraqi city of Baqouba, killing at least three people, including the driver, and injuring nearly 30 others, officials said. The U.S. military said five people were killed.

From a distance we are instruments marching in a common band.

Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace. They're the songs of every man.

Kim Smith still cries when she reads the letter she posted on the Internet for her 19-year-old son, who was killed in June by a grenade while on guard duty in Baghdad.

Smith posted the letter to Pvt. Robert Lewis Frantz through -

a Web site created by a mail carrier from Powder Springs, Ga., that is devoted to the memories of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From a distance you look like my friend, even though we are at war.

From a distance I just cannot comprehend what all this fighting is for.

Aaron Weaver fought to serve in Iraq, battled cancer, and then died when his Army helicopter went down in Iraq. Eight others died with him in the crash.

As a 22-year-old sergeant, Weaver was part of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia - where 18 U.S. Army soldiers lost their lives. Weaver was supposed to finally come home next month.

He leaves behind a wife and 1-year-old daughter.

From a distance there is harmony, and it echoes through the land.

And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves, it's the heart of every man.

As the Bush administration works to crack down on the international trade in weapons of mass destruction, it faces a dilemma: A vital ally in the war on terror - Pakistan - appears to have been a main supplier of nuclear know-how to Libya Š and possibly Iran

God is watching us from a distance. Oh, God is watching us, God is watchingŠ