Thank God the holy days are almost over! Not since America's Christmas bombings of Cambodia has the festive season been so desecrated, its sentiment of peace, mercy, and goodwill towards humankind blown to smithereens, the smashed vestiges radiating poison like so much depleted uranium.
Is this a case of brutish and unrepentant men* who decide
life and death today taking special care to plan "milestone"
atrocities, fixing the launch dates to coincide with calendar
remembrances of our species' transcendant aspirations, or are these
star-crossed days coincidental, happenstance?
Yes, many of the men** crossing the t's, and dotting the i's on the blueprints of carnage from distant bunkers beneath a distant Capitol are wholly unaware of days held by dusky foreigners in reverence, and merely drop their bombs with no more thought than to the effect on their missiles of the prevailing wind. And I'm certain too, the ultimate author's of the orders those bombs fly are totally cognizant of what they do, when they do it, and why.
So, while the drones servicing the horror may not know Eid from Ramadan, Hannukah from Yom Kippur, or Christmas from Easter, their task-masters do. Those that coin flip titles for the bloody "operations" in distant lands, then roll the news of their genius off the PR production line back home like the newest gadget, or movie catch phrase know: In war and marketing, timing is everything.
Just another dead Iraqi. In the wee hours of the first day of Eid (marked on different days for Sunni and Shiite) Saddam Hussein shrugged his mortal coil at the end of a rope. Brows have furrowed over the portents of Hussein's execution: What will the Sunni reaction be? How will this effect the Shia? What does the "street" think?
In Iraq, where Saddam becomes one of an estimated 600,000 (more or less) war dead, opinion is mixed. The Iraqis know: Saddam's trial was a farce; the sentencing a farce; and the hurried, clumsy coup de grace, finally farce. They're aware too, "their" government operates on America's timetable.
Loath to bring anything like clarity to the turbid situation in Iraq for the taxpayers footing the bill, corporate media masseures in America are working overtime this weekend, debating the cunning of the great decider George's latest stratagem, or its folly, careful to avoid anything smacking of moral inquiry. In the end, they conclude: Saddam's just another dead despot; now, onward...
Eid, or more properly, Eid-ul-Adha literally translates as Festivity of Sacrifice. Eid reminds of the prophet Ibrahim, (Abraham in the Judeo/Christian account) bidden by God to make sacrifice of his only son, Ismail. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on the higher meanings of faith and devotion to the word of God, and to sacrifice their time and money, and to fulfill, if they are able, one of the five sacred tenets of Islam, embarking on the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca.
It is a fairly rare occurrence that Islam's Eid should coincide with the major religious observances of its near relatives, Judaism and Christianity, and fitting it should be the celebration of the prophet common to them all. More the shame that Saddam's jailers should choose this moment to make a public sacrifice of the former quisling dictator, besmirching the time of year set aside for three of the world's major religions to remember peace, understanding, goodwill, and the ultimate kinship of all humanity. But then, aren't those just the kind of sentiments that make war and dominion difficult?
Check the calendar the next time you hear of a horror concocted and conducted by the black wizards in the White House and Whitehall; beware too to keep an eye to the future, and those days set aside for humanity's higher purpose; the Devil loves nothing better than to do mischief on the days of the saints.
Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News, the Atlantic Free Press, and host of Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, borad/webcast from the university of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.
* Though their ranks include women, most notably grim grinner Condaleezza Rice, and others noted by Laura Flanders in her book 'Bushwomen,' this administration runs strictly on testosterone-powered patriarchy.
** One wonders, as the "women" in the Bush administration are apparently devoid of "feminine" virtue, if referring to the males enabling the Bush genocide, devoid as they seem to be of humanity, as "men" is appropriate.
*** There has been speculation, of the Icke-ian variety, that the "men" behind the throne are not human at all. I'd hate to believe there exists an alien race more barbaric than our own.