Friday, April 27, 2007

Down Irish to the IZ. It's gotten so it's actually routine. Through one ECP, swing around to Hiafa street, past the CHS and out through Assassin's Gate. Onto the bridge over the Tigres - it's muddy as usual. There are Iraqi armored cars on either end, and some type of patrol boat in the river, but I can't see how they would actually imped a bomber if he wanted to drive onto the bridge and detonate himself. Well, we're over now, so that's their worry.

Downtown is pretty busy. Lot's of police and IA's around. We pass a market spread out along one of the streets - markets always attract crowds and crowd in Iraq is just another word for "large defeseless target." So we have set up concrete blast walls separating the venders from the road - unfortunitly, their most obvious effect seems to be to slow traffic by taking up an entire lane of the street. Already the barriers are plastered with posters - mostly religious leaders and memorials to people who have died, I think. Baghdad might be called "The city of Posters." Perhaps not as enticing as "The City of Lights," but you have to start somewhere, and the bar's pretty low.

We're on Route Brewers now heading towards Sadr City. I have never been this far east of the river before, and I am a little apprehensive. I think it's just that the name Sadr City conjurs up so many images from CNN; Madhi Army check points, troops being ambushed from the roof tops, wounded being ferried out on the top of with tanks... but it seems pretty calm from my perspective. At least for now.

At one point an auto in front of us pulls over & we stop. You don't want to stop unless you absolutly have to, but you definitly don't want to pass a vehicle that has just pulled over either. I hate that you have to think of these things every time you have to go somewhere. Even the simplist decision can get someone killed. Do we move, or do we sit there? Luckily, after a minute or two the car pulls back onto the roadway and we continue on.

We pass the Interior Ministry Building going into the chute for FOB Shields (they refer to this building as JAM headquarters because of the number of police who moonlight as Madhi Army soldiers). There are a LOT of Iraqi police and soldiers around, but they are not as reassuring as having American soldiers around.


Anonymous Keith said...

Do you HAVE to go through Sadr City to get there? Couldn't you somehow bypass that place? Or enclose it in a 20 foot high wall or just bomb it into oblivion? Do I go too far? Have they gone too far? Maybe the best (and worst) thing we can do is pull up stakes and let the tent fall... They can hash out any problems they have with each other on their own. What do we care? Really, why should we care one way or another? They themselves seem to place such little value on their own lives or the lives of others (other tribes, that is, including the American tribe) why should we?

April 27, 2007 2:26 PM  

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