Events in Iraq called to mind these words which were written about another land with a much different history
We have been told that "it takes a village" and--never mind the implication for now--it probably does. A village or small town like Gorazde can mature for years in history's cask, ripening away for all its provincialism. The large majority of its citizens may be content or at any rate reconciled. But the awful and frightening fact about fascism is that it "takes" only a few gestures (a pig's head in a mosque; a rumor of the kidnap of a child; an armed provocation at a wedding) to unsettle or even undo the communal and humane work of generations.
Normally the fascists don't have the guts to try it, they need the reassurance of support from superiors or aid from an outside power and they need to know that "law," defined nationally or internationally, will be a joke at the expense of their victims. In Bosnia they were granted all three indulgences. But even at the edge of those medieval paintings of breakdown and panic and mania, when people still thought the heavens might aid them, there was often the oblique figure at the edge of the scene, who might hope to record and outlive the carnage and perhaps help rebuild the community. Call him the moral draftsman, at least for now, and be grateful for small mercies.