In Teaching of Death, Americans Top the Greeks

The scenes of murder, destruction and terror we see every day could be summarized in a daily television program. The program could be called: “Killing everyone off.”

Such a program would probably encourage publishers to issue a new book under the title: “Give up life and start with death.”

In this book, we would have an overview of the new philosophy of killing. That is, if you have not yet been killed by sword, you will certainly be killed by car bomb, an explosive charge or a mortar attack.

In antiquity, Greek philosophers used to say that life is the art of training yourself how to die.

Today, the Americans have succeeded in translating this philosophy into reality by training us on how to be ready to die … around the clock.

Thus, no Iraqi man today leaves home without reciting al-Fatiha (his prayers) over his own soul, the souls of his family and his neighbors.

Our ancestors of the Mesopotamian era used to carry amulets around their necks as a charm against evil or injury.

Amulets are no good for us, their descendents. No amulet or talisman has the power to protect the bearer from the evils and arrogance of an American cowboy or a terrorist emir (prince).

We are today between two fires: the fire of occupation and the fire of terror.

Because the idea of death haunts us day and night, we have drastically restrained our social interactions, which were once the pride of our society.

We spend most of our time crouching over the floor of our houses. Our homes have become jails, and we have become both the jailers and the inmates.

Our contact with the world outside our homes is now confined to informing loved ones and close friends when a relative is killed. And these are many.

We need to make at least make sure that they attend the funeral and offer their condolences.

Killing is so rampant in Iraq that there has been a boom in funeral-related merchandise. Shops offering funeral and mourning services today vie with those selling furniture or wedding articles. In fact, killing has turned into a lucrative trade in Iraq. Indeed, it is the only lucrative trade left in the country.

Killing, my friends, has become a hobby in my country, like hunting, stamp collecting or bird-watching.

It spares no one. There is no way to evade death whether you are a construction worker, a teacher, a barber, a professor, a baker, a doctor, a dentist, a man, a woman, a child, or an elderly person.

All this happens and the interior minister is still there, the government is still there, the minister of defense is still there and the U.S. troops are still there.

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