When the U.S. invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003, I was sitting in the newspaper office, checking my email from time to time and, periodically, communicating with a young man in Baghdad. His last communication said, "It has begun. The bombs are falling. Pray for us."
Today, eight years later, an entire news story is devoted to the fact that this August was the first month since the war in Iraq began that no American troops were killed. As usual, the number of Iraqi deaths is given short shrift. 4,474 Americans have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The number of Iraqis killed ... well, it's too hard to tally and besides, they're not Americans.
How many Americans would have died -- our children in uniform -- if the invasion had never occurred? Arrogant pseudo-patriots will point to imagined "threats." But is imagination a good reason for killing people?
When something becomes so unutterably insane, you can see why people might give themselves over to prayer. Prayers for "them." Prayers for "us."
I never did find out what happened to Mohammed.