Nov 3 2013
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, November 3, 2013
A police officer manning a checkpoint in an Iraqi city suspects that a car is laden with explosives.
He stops the vehicle and asks the driver to allow him to inspect the car.
There is a long queue of cars waiting to be inspected as is the case with numerous checkpoints in almost all Iraqi cities.
The driver laughs and says: “I am in a hurry and cannot let you inspect the car. So please remove the hurdle and let me pass.”
Infuriated by the response, the officer tries to force him out of the car.
The driver pulls out a small mobile and tells the officer: “If you do not let me proceed to reach my destination, all I need is to press this button to blow up myself, my car, you and all the vehicles in the queue at the same time.”
The police officer moves his eyes over the long queue of cars and thinks about the carnage, of which he will be the first victim that will take place if he persists on forcing the driver out of the car-bomb.
Weighing the pros and cons, the officer lets the driver proceed.
This story might look insane for many but it is part of Iraq’s scene dominated by violence and corruption.
Illicit references to such stories abound in the local press when covering car and suicide bombings, whose numbers, devastation and casualties have surged dramatically in recent months.
“The car bomb that was blown up had passed through checkpoints but was not detected,” is the statement Iraqi media either quote or paraphrase after each bombing.
This is no justification. It is merely an illustration of conditions in the country, which defy the simplest logic.
Death and life have become a farce, a black comedy in Iraq.
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