MOSUL, Iraq — The Iraqi city of Mosul has been chosen to host this year's international IED Hide and Seek Games, an event which pits the world’s most violent religious extremists against members of the international community for several weeks of senseless violence.
The games, held every year since the beginning of the global war on terror, involves the hiding and finding of improvised explosive devices, and culminates with the subsequent detonation of large amounts of rigged ordnance under controlled or uncontrolled conditions.
Amidst this year’s festivities, residents of Mosul are lodging complaints with the municipality citing concerns about loud noise, and traffic disruption within the city.
“It’s a ruckus every time. You can’t go anywhere without getting caught up in the mess. Last year, I ended up leaving and when I came home, it was literally burned to the ground,” said one resident who called on government representatives to end the games once and for all.
Another resident recounted how the games adversely impacted his own life. “After last year’s event I spent two days looking for my car until I realized it was fucking blown to bits. Now I have to drive my mom’s PT cruiser around like an idiot. You have no idea how humiliating that is.”
Residents are not the only ones protesting this year’s games. The United States, a top competitor until recent years, is also purported to be limiting its involvement in this year’s games to solely providing material, weapons, and training support to their Iraqi partners. This comes at the objection of other participants, namely those from the group called ISIS, who cite an unfair advantage after taking what they call “a beating” from Coalition and Iraqi airstrikes.
“It’s unfair is what it is. Do you know how hard it is to convince someone to become a suicide bomber? We can hardly sleep at night anymore with all those airstrikes blowing up our bed down locations,” proclaimed a mid-level ISIS commander over the phone, just before the call cut out from what sounded like an airstrike in the background.
Despite reservations about the games from both residents and participants alike, this year’s annual IED Hide and Seek is still being seen as an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to come together in one place, and celebrate in the destruction of public property and to rejoice in its ensuing mayhem.