Life Imitates Art?

On an interview with a US Military Officer at Umm Qasr I saw the phrase “Shai Hulud” penned onto the front of this Officer’s helmet. I wondered what it meant, it seemed familiar; I googled it and found:


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it is gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

…which is, (as any Frank Herbert fan will note), the Fremen prayer at the passing of Shai-Hulud – a sandworm. I won’t go into the details of what a sandworm is or the story of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune trilogy but suffice it to say that sandworms are representative of the wealth beneath the sands.

Some interesting coincidences are the name of the planet in Dune – Arrakis which at a stretch sounds a little like – Iraq, the function of the spice melange that emanates from beneath the sands of Arrakis, which is vital for transportation in that galaxy and that the despotic ruler of that galaxy is named the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV !!!

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