Far fewer would know of the 1940 film “Black Friday” starring Boris Karloff as a brain surgeon who replaces the diseased part of the brain of a dying friend with brain tissue from a dead mobster. The friend becomes a veritable Dr. Jeckll (meek English professor) and Mr. Hyde (gangster) who, as Karloff learns, has stashed away half a million dollars.
There is another “Black Friday” movie, one made in 2004 in India. It could have been made in Iraq today, Black Friday 2006.
The movie is the story of the series of 15 coordinated car bombings in Bombay (Mumbai) on March 12, 1993 told from the perspectives of some who were caught in the events of that day. All told, 257 people died and more than 1,400 were injured in the blasts that were blamed on militant Muslims seeking revenge for the demolition of a mosque.
So we have the “moveable” U.S. business Black Friday that is the day after Thanksgiving but oriented toward the Christian festival of Christmas, a horror movie from 1940, and a movie recounting widespread terror bombings in 1993 in a predominantly Hindu country.
For Iraqis, November 23, 2006 – celebrated as Thanksgiving by U.S. troops in Iraq – will be remembered for years, for decades, for lifetimes as a “Black Day” when more than 200 Muslims died, most from a series of 6 coordinated car bombings. And also for Iraqis, November 24, 2006 – Black Friday for U.S. businesses – will be remembered for years, for decades, for lifetimes as an especially “black day” for added hundreds of Muslims who died at the hands of the Iraqi army and various militias, some reportedly working with men dressed in official national police uniforms and driving authentic national police vehicles, while U.S. helicopters circled overhead.
And this is a country where progress is being made and about which U.S. politicians are optimistic for the future?
President Bush is scheduled to meet Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, next week in Jordan. Bush should be flexible, for after the last two days, someone other than al-Maliki might walk through the door as prime minister.