Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Sirens of Bagdad

The Americans say they went to Iraq to liberate the Iraqis from a tyrant and to fight terrorism. Why is it that some Iraqis hate the Western world so much? The Sirens of Bagdad tries to tell it from the point of view of those who feel they have suffered great injustices at the hands of the Western world.

A young Bedouin from a village in the Iraqi desert was traumatised when an nervous American soldier at a check point mistook his autistic friend for a terrorist and shot him dead. He then suffered the greatest insult when Americans raiding his home exposed his father’s genitals in front of him. He went to Bagdad to avenge the insult and got mixed up with the fedayeen - an armed resistance group against the occupiers.

There he met his old friend Omar who had gone to Bagdad earlier with a similar purpose but was subsequently disillusioned by the reckless massacre of innocent people. Omar advised him to “Fight for your country, not against the whole world”, but he just wouldn’t listen. Later, Omar was killed by his fedayeen associates because of a misunderstanding - for which he was partly responsible.

He then got his wish - he was chosen to be the carrier for an attack on the West by a deadly, incontrollable virus, ...

It is a fascinating peek into the psyche of some of these radicalized people. It also probes at a deadly serious question. Why and how are some of these seemingly ordinary people who normally abhor violence turned into radicals willing to sacrifice their lives to strike out at the world indiscriminately?

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