Isn’t there a difference between courage and repulsion?

December 20, 2006

Okay, the reason I’ve snipped a bit of this photograph is that, well, I’ll just quote a couple of sentences from our Najaf handover ceremony today, from correspondent Claudia Parsons:

NAJAF, Iraq, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Iraqi soldiers bit the heads off frogs and ate the heart of a rabbit as signs of courage on Wednesday at a ceremony to transfer Najaf province, home to one of Shi’ite Islam’s holiest shrines, from U.S. to Iraqi control.

Politicians, tribal and religious leaders and soldiers watched displays of military prowess and one demonstration, hailed as a display of courage, in which five soldiers stopped before the grandstand to bite the heads off frogs.

A sixth holding a live rabbit slit open its stomach and ate its heart before tossing the carcass to his comrades to chew on. Here is our story:

bunny.jpg

A police commando eats a live rabbit during a handover ceremony in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, December 20, 2006. REUTERS/Ali Abu Shish

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[...] all, we’ve seen a lot of that kind of thing, with folks gobbling snakes, frogs, rabbits, even brussels [...]