And for the first time in nearly 14 years, today, Friday the 13th — a full moon, most frightful than normal: The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of Friday 13th.
In this particular instance, it’s called a “honey moon,” or “strawberry moon,” due to the supposedly slight golden tint reflected onto our imaged brains.
Maybe you just suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Yet, it’s special, the next full moon on a Friday the 13th won’t take place reportedly until Aug. 13, 2049 — and a world that most-likely will not exist as we view it today.
(Illustration: Salvador Dali, ‘Alice’s Evidence,’ found here).
Also in that same futuristic venue, the situation in the nightmare of Iraq will no doubt pose the same result — a country that won’t soon exist as we know it, and will burn for years and years to come. Silhouettes similar seen in places like Syria, or Nigeria, or the Ukraine, countries falling apart, or have a high-level of disorder.
And brutal techniques the norm — via the Washington Post:
Death indeed accompanied the insurgents as they sacked the city of Mosul, a strategically vital oil hub and Iraq’s largest northern city.
There, a displaced Iraqi woman told reporters that lining its streets were the decapitated heads of policeman and soldiers.
One reporter spoke with a woman who had allegedly seen a “row of decapitated soldiers and policemen.”
Other reports spoke of “mass beheadings” in Northern Iraq, though The Washington Post was not able to confirm the tales.
But in terms of impact, the acts of terror have been wildly successful.
From beheadings to summary executions to amputations to crucifixions, the terrorist group has become the most feared organization in the Middle East.
That fear, evidenced in fleeing Iraqi soldiers and 500,000 Mosul residents, has played a vital role in the group’s march toward Baghdad.
In many cases, police and soldiers literally ran, shedding their uniforms as they went, abandoning large caches of weapons.
“We can’t beat them,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted one soldier saying. “We can’t.”
And they must run away — leaving behind a windfall of waging-war equipment:
General Najim al-Jabouri, a former mayor of Tel Afar, which is a little more than 31 miles from Mosul, told The Daily Beast the bases seized by ISIS this week would provide the group with even more heavy weapons than they currently control.
“The Iraqi army left helicopters, humvees, cargo planes and other heavy machine guns, along with body armor and uniforms,” the general, who is now a scholar at the National Defense University, said.
He said he was able to learn about the equipment from soldiers and other politicians in and around Mosul with whom he keeps in touch.
In the next few days, the reality will be obvious. Iraq is pretty-much a lost cause, with deep implications for everyone.
The collapse of central authority also was evident in Baghdad, where the Iraqi Parliament failed to muster a quorum to consider a request from Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki for a declaration of a state of emergency.
Maliki responded in a statement read on state television by accusing Sunni political parties of conspiring to destroy the state.
In recent days, Maliki, who also serves as the defense minister, has blamed the same parties for the army’s massive desertion in the face of the ISIS offensive.
“Iraq’s future at this point is being shaped by conflict rather than by a viable political system. No one really knows where it’s going,” Salman Sheikh, the director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, said in a telephone interview from Beirut.
“The long-term impact could be quite cataclysmic, not just for Iraq, but for the entire region.”
The prediction that Iraq would one day descend into an ungovernable space of feuding ethnic and religious groups was first made when U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Now that it seemed to be happening, many found it difficult to grasp the unfolding reality.
Deep, down in the nightmare, the White Rabbit tells the tale:
When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know
Maybe not — it’s a Friday the 13th on a full, strawberry moon.