Dispatches from Iraq, Part 5
It seems the most significant event people have been wondering about lately is last Friday's car bomb. Don't worry, I'm safe and sound. However, I will say that for a few minutes I was pretty stunned. I was having trouble getting out of bed on that morning when Bam! the entire ground shook accompanied by the sound of an explosion. I've never seen so many people wake up at the same time. (Remember, I'm leaving in a large tent with at least thirty other people.) We all looked at each other stupidly - not knowing exactly what to do. Was it a mortar, a grenade, a missile? Should we put on our gas masks? A couple minutes later a loudspeaker voice told us to take cover. As I was leaving my tent to get to a more hardened shelter, I saw thick black smoke in the distance. Of course, the most immediate source for news was the internet. The rest of the day went on as usual as if nothing ever happened. Now, people are not even talking about it. I wonder what kind of press the attack stirred up back home. This week, it seems like a distant memory.
I have traversed at least half of the Green Zone by now. Today, I even made it to the "Assassin's Gate" where back in January, an even deadlier car bomb exploded. For the most part, the Green Zone is like one giant park complex. There are few large buildings with a great deal of open space in between. Some buildings are completely intact while others are reduced partly to rubble. The most imposing of such structures is the Ba'ath Party Headquarters which sits as a shell of itself home to nothing but wild cats. Sometimes, one can spot the occasional bat flying about.
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