Bloodstreams in the Levant: On Terror and the Soul
Today’s Free Kindle eBook: Bloodstreams in the Levant: On Terror and the Soul
Go inside the mind of jihad and war. Through a gripping novella and poems, Bloodstreams in the Levant engages with war, terrorism, radicalization, and the soul.The novella “A Militant Downfall: Souls in Terror” follows the journey of an Arab-American boy named Khalil Najem, who joins a militant Islamist group in an Arab country mired in civil war. Opening with his torture and interrogation, Khalil is first interrogated by the brutal Arab officer Said Zabih. He is then interrogated by an American named Jon de Maistre who has been sent there to recover him. Because of his father, Khalil must be retrieved – or terminated. To make that determination, de Maistre deconstructs his mindset, why he would willingly come to a war. In the process, the process of radicalization, alienation, jihadism, self-delusion, and the narratives that constitute it all are explored.In the poems – “Savagery,” “Radical,” and “Aftermath” – the human costs of war are observed through the lens of our base humanity and morality.-Quotes from “A Militant Downfall: Souls in Terror”-On God and His love:”God? You believe in nothing.” […] “What God is there for you?What God could love you? The things you’ve done … No God could forgiveit, much less love it.” He paused for a moment, entertaining such aLord. And then he rejected it. “If this is God, then I don’t want thisGod. It is no God that I could love, that I could worship.”On war and our contradictions:[…] “They said war was the last vestige of man’s glory, that Homeric ideal of old which revives only when the corpses pile” […] That mindset has faded, however. Nowadays, we’re never so bold. We will say even prettier words against war, giving our lip-service to how it must be avoided while miring ourselves into the filth over and over again.” […] “Clearly, there is a divide between rhetoric and action!”On alienation:The anger in Khalil’s voice escalated as he went on. “Then, when they see a tyrant massacring an entire people, they meet it with a shrug. Some even stand and applaud Muslims killing Muslims, calling it ‘progress.’ Like the devil himself, they watch with glee as the corpses mount, and the blood pours. They take satisfaction in every drop of bled shed … Well, that blood stained me. You say I came to a war, but that’s not true. The war came to me.”An arms dealer’s vision of regret:”In that instant, every crime and every death flashed before his eyes. He saw a hundred hands clasps – his own and the hands of tyrants and presidents and kings, all soaked in blood. Then, he saw a million guns fire and the flesh of men, women, and children explode. In unison, the bodies fell and piled upon one another. And then his vision went to blackness, in a frightening void that mirrored his soul.”On war and our loss of humanity:”The fighting objectified them all, erasing their humanity and leaving only the faceless composites of the soldier, the rebel, and the victim. For Khalil, the war subsumed him like any other man, woman, and child within the country’s borders. There was no escaping it.”
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