Wednesday, November 16, 2005

They are ready, so ready!

Back in Baghdad after a relaxing and enjoyable couple of weeks with family in Basrah. It so easy to forget about the ongoing war and the hardships of every day here in Baghdad. Because the difference between Basrah and Baghdad is like night and day.
Just a couple of hours after my arrival, I am confronted with the realities of Baghdad and the realities of being in a city that is under siege:
My driver (Amer) and I are driving through one of the hot-spots in Baghdad, Al-Adhamiya. The city is dark, apart from the lights of the cars and some shops that are still open.
Just before the college, there is a check point. The Iraqi National Guards that are manning it are busy pulling cars over and searching them. We are pulled over as well.
One of the soldiers asks for our id:s.
I am pulled out by the squad-leader: Where is your badge? Where is your badge, he asks ?
I start going through my bag, looking for it. The thing is when you are driving in Baghdad you do not want to be found with a press card issued by the Americans. So you hide it, and since I was coming from Basrah and was planning on just going straight to the hotel anyway. No need for my badge.
The soldier gets more agitated.
Three rounds are fired next to our car. People start running and yelling. I get nervous. Drop my stuff. Are we under attack? I look at Amer. His face is red. He is steaming.
I glance at the soldier standing outside our car, on the driver's side. On the soldier's finger is his kalashnikov doing a balancing-act as he is going through Amer's documents. The problem is that he has put his rifle barrel down and his finger on the trigger.
We could all have killed! These are the guys that the US has trained that are supposedly ready to establish law and order in Iraq! God have mercy upon us!

The squad leader runs over to the other side where the incident just happened.
--- Iraqi or Arab, he asks my driver?
--- Arab, he answers.
---You are Iraqi. You have an Iraqi passport. How can you say, Arab, the soldier yells ?
--- Are we not Arabs? Are we Iranians or something, Amer replies?
There is definitely an identity-crisis going on in Iraq right now.
What are Iraqis? Who is Iraqi? And where are they going?


At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Mr Urban for your objective repporting from Iraq. With pain in our hearts we follow the unjust war that was imposed on the Iraqi people by the imperialist and reactionary western countries. Its clear to us that the only reason to invade Iraq is because of its rich oil resourses. The oil-baroons
G W Bush D Cheney and the little nightmare Condoleza try to make millions of dollars by killing inocent Iraqi civilians with their nasty inhuman wapons. We are not believe one word of what they say because it has been proved all the time that they are the worlds bigest liers. History will condemn them and send them to hell and the Iraqi peoples struggle will prevail. It is a quastion of time.

Hurray to the tigers of Babylon, the freedom fighters.


Post a Comment

<< Home