FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wishing Death

by DIANE CHRISTIAN

“I wish Wolfowitz had been killed. I wish all the Americans here would be killed,” said Ali Hussein a grocer in downtown Baghdad. “The Americans are not human beings. They are monsters. They lied to the Iraqi people.”

New York Times October 26, 2003

I do not wish Wolfowitz had been killed, though I consider him a war criminal, a reckless belligerent and an evil actor in the US war on Iraq. He was in the hotel Rashid when a bold attack rocked the luxury hotel with the tightest security in Baghdad. Brigadier General Martin Dempsey, commander of the First Armored Division, told the Deputy Secretary not to take it personally, but later before cameras an unshaven, rumpled, wavering Wolfowitz tried to talk tough but looked trembling and vulnerable. Hard not to gloat that the armchair warrior got a slight breath of the brutal whirlwind he kindled.

But killing isn’t the answer. Everyone dies. We can glut our death wishes on the deep inevitable truth that no one escapes death-not the mighty, not the miserable, not the Deputy Secretary of Defense. The preacher of Ecclesiastes says that this is what makes men mad and puts evil in their minds-that their only future is to die. Religion wrestles with that very demon.

We wish death because we see the monster coming up on us.

When Ali Hussein the Baghdad grocer says Americans are not human beings, they are monsters and liars he’s not just retaliating for devastation labeled liberation. He’s echoing traditional figures for evil. The devil is a monster who eats us, hell is terrible maw, Satan is the great deceiver, the liar. Maybe the grocer just wants to feed people and make a decent life; maybe he’s related to Saddam. He feels entitled to wish death on Paul Wolfowitz and all the Americans.
Paul Wolfowitz returns the wish-promising to destroy all who would attack us.

Wishing death is the problem. Resisting the monster is the cure.

DIANE CHRISTIAN is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at University at Buffalo. She can be reached at: engdc@acsu.buffalo.edu

 

DIANE CHRISTIAN is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at University at Buffalo and author of the new book Blood Sacrifice. She can be reached at: engdc@acsu.buffalo.edu

May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail