Kamal Riahi On:
The Enigmatic Crime of the Signals Private by Ali Badr
In a world of peace and tranquility, truth becomes a matter of conflict, but in the world of war, truth becomes something unreachable. In wartime, everything becomes confused except death. The truth is the intellectual equivalent of the bullet. A bullet is a bullet. It only changes its place in the body according to the nature of truth. It can be situated in the head or in the heart or between the thighs, whereas the process of accusation finds its way to where the bullet has lodged.
In Iraqi novelist Ali Badr’s story we are in the hell of war in Iraq where the search for the truth represents the technique of a game. Just like Russian roulette, we do not know when the bullet will come. The story represents a game of confessions and narratives. How can we achieve clarity under terror? How can we narrate without mistakes? This is a tale that “wrestles” with itself through a series of confessions by a soldier that reflect the tragedies of life under a Middle Eastern army helmet.