I looked up this phrase “Allahu akbar!” you always hear people yelling in the video clips coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Apparently it means something like hooray for god. I guess it depends on the video, but they almost always say it when they’re blowing something up—KOOSH—fire and dirt’s erupting all over the place, and through the dustcloud you hear these guys going nuts, cheering and whatever. Hooray for god! Or they’re snipers camped out in some sandy bazaar someplace waiting for our soldiers to come strolling by, and you hear a gunshot crack out, and one of the soldiers stumbles and trips and all the other ones crouch down and snap their guns up to their shoulders, frantic, pointing them all around, and you hear these snipers trying not to laugh doing these excited kind of stage whispers. Dude I know, keep it down, but holy shit, hooray for god!
So there’s some new shaky video clip making the rounds online showing how this guy Qaddafi got iced. At first you don’t see anything but heat and sun and dust and scuffling feet, and in the background you hear a car horn blaring, and then you see Qaddafi laying hatless on the hood of a truck with blood smeared on his face and neck, and these barefoot guys with doorags and pistols are laying beside him posing like a couple of rednecks, and they’re holding up his head as if he’s a seven point buck, and you can see that Qaddafi’s hair is all thin and frazzled on top. And this hoarse voice starts screaming, “Allahu akbar”—hooray for god!—and I think it’s the guy with the camera who’s yelling, cause he gets so into it that he forgets to point the lens on the action, and by the time he gets back to the front of the crowd you see Qaddafi’s slipped off the hood of the truck and his shirt’s slid up to his chest, and his belly’s all soft and pale, and then Qaddafi—he’s still alive and on his feet lurching forward like he’d grab the collar of one of these guys and chew him out, and the crowd is shoving all around him—he’s staggering—and there’s these long gunbarrels everywhere, and guys waving revolvers, and Qaddafi’s mouth is open and for a second it almost looks like he’s the one screaming. Hooray for god! And there’s a rattle of gunfire, and when the camera finds Qaddafi again he’s slumped and limp and fists’re grabbing at his loose hair—and for a second it almost looks like a zombie movie, when the undead finally catch a live one and dig in with their fingers to eat him all up—and then there’s more shots crackling off, and a yipping and whooping like from an Indian warband, and then the camera pans right, and tied up in the bed of a pickup there’s some black guy—one of Qaddafi’s buddies, maybe—and he’s looking all scared towards the mob, hunched over and wincing so hard he’s showing his teeth, and then the camera guy’s screaming again—hooray for god!—and that’s how it ends.