Alas Poor Yorick
Is this good news or bad news? McClatchy Newspapers reports that "as violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch".
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds. ...
Few people have a better sense of the death rate in Iraq .
"I always think of the increasing and decreasing of the dead," said Sameer Shaaban, 23, one of more than 100 workers who specialize in ceremonially washing the corpses. "People want more and more money, and I am one of them, but most of the workers in this field don't talk frankly, because they wish for more coffins, to earn more and more."
There's one easy way to get the body count up again, and that's to follow the advice of certain political groups whose avowed aim was to get it down. And if that sounds absurd it is no less so than many of the puzzling advocacies of our enlightened age: of civil libertarians who support tyrants; feminists who support misogyny; gays who support regimes which execute homosexuals and self-described patriots who insist that helping their country's enemies is the purest form of nationalism. Today we shed a tear for the poor employment prospects of the gravediggers of Iraq. That's not comedy. It's not even irony. Just politics.