Will Van Wagenen at age 29 in 2007
The song came up unbidden from my memory while I was forcing myself to read through stomach-turning essays by a young American with a Master's degree in theology studies from Harvard, who somehow got himself kidnapped in Iraq in 2007 while he was doing humanitarian work in the country.
The person who emerged from the mercifully short ordeal embarked on a mission to inform fellow Americans about what their government was really up to in Iraq -- and later, in Syria, and he had the writing and research skills to give power to his observations.
His writings are buttressed by extensively quoting mainstream U.S. news reports, so his essays contain few surprises about U.S. actions in Syria for anyone who's closely followed the war there for years. But the volume of facts he marshals in a single writing means William Van Wagenen's essays can be upsetting to get through in one sitting, even for this veteran of Syrian war news.
So there I was, forcing myself through There is No FSA, There is Only Al-Qaeda after tackling his latest for the Libertarian Institute, The Myth of US ‘Inaction’ in Syria ("While arming rebels threatening the massacre of Alawite civilians in Latakia, US planners were at the same time welcoming the potential massacre of Syrian civilians in Damascus.").
Suddenly I said, "No more. Not now," then for a reason that's a mystery to me, I recalled the American pop song, played so often it became annoying. It was a global mega-hit -- even in Iran, where some young people got arrested for making a "Happy" dancing video. The whole world was singing and dancing along with "Happy."
Dammit, Will Van Wagenen and Pharrell Williams are who Americans are, not the monsters who encourage genocide and mass murder as a 'regime-change' tactic.
Do I feel better after singing "Happy" along with Pharrell? Well, maybe I regained a little perspective. But not my sleep. It's almost 4 in the morning where I am. For once I am going to give myself a break from checking the day's war news in Syria before I hit the sack.
To sleep go I, perchance to dream of dancing.