View Full Version : Iraq’s Curse: A Thirst for Final, Crushing Victory

06-03-2007, 09:13 PM
3 June New York Times - Iraq's Curse: A Thirst for Final, Crushing Victory (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/weekinreview/03wong.html) by Edward Wong

PERHAPS no fact is more revealing about Iraq’s history than this: The Iraqis have a word that means to utterly defeat and humiliate someone by dragging his corpse through the streets.

The word is “sahel,” and it helps explain much of what I have seen in three and a half years of covering the war.

It is a word unique to Iraq, my friend Razzaq explained over tea one afternoon on my final tour. Throughout Iraq’s history, he said, power has changed hands only through extreme violence, when a leader was vanquished absolutely, and his destruction was put on display for all to see.