Friday, May 05, 2006

What's in a Name?

This demonstrates how far beyond the pale the situation is in Iraq, "on the ground," as Dear Leader likes to say, how far removed from our day-to-day reality and powers of comprehension the place has become. Sunni men named Omar are rushing to change their name(s?) to Ammar in order to avoid being culled at Shiite checkpoints. Because "Omar" is an exclusively Sunni name, while "Ammar" is religiously neutral. One Omar, as recounted in the story's lead, was spurred to change his name after a dozen other Omars ended up dead in a trash dump near his home.
"It sounds like Omar, and if someone calls you, you will remember that it's you," he said.
Can any of us here truly wrap our brains around a life where every pedestrian approaching a crowd of people may be a suicide bomber, where every box or pile of trash on the side of the road may conceal an Improvised Explosive Device, where the name on your birth certificate effectively pins a "kill me" sign on your back?

Maybe the Bushies think Iran will be easier because at least it's all Shiite.

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