Monday, September 15, 2014

A Story of Iraq

Reading this piece on books about Iraq in the New York Review of Books, I was struck by this excerpt from Hassan Blasim's The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq, to which I can add nothing:
The man with the beard was a teacher who went to the police one day to report on a neighbor who was trading in antiquities stolen from the National Museum. The police thanked him for his cooperation. The teacher, his conscience relieved, went back to his school. The police submitted a report to the Ministry of Defense that the teacher’s house was an al Qaeda hideout. The police were in partnership with the antiquities smuggler. The Ministry of Defense sent the report to the US Army, who bombed the teacher’s house by helicopter. His wife, his four children, and his elderly mother were killed. The teacher escaped with his life, but he suffered brain damage and lost his arms.