Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Car Bombs

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

January 19, 2005

Car Bombs

The thundering blast rocks me awake at 7:05am. The first thing my eyes
see are the curtains of my room flowing in, as if a strong wind is
blowing into my room.

‘Holy shit, they hit the embassy,’ I think to myself, ‘the blast was so

I leave my windows cracked and curtains drawn for just this reason-while
my door was blasted open, splintering the frame where it was locked
shut, none of my windows shattered. Aside from small chunks from the
ceiling of my room strewn about the floor, I am alright.

I look out my window and see that despite shattered glass strewn outside
many of the nearby buildings, the Australian embassy is intact.

I quickly throw on some clothes, grab my camera and run into the
hall-where it is filled with so much dust it’s difficult to see.

In the hall, as well as all the others I see as I run upstairs, pieces
of ceiling and broken glass are everywhere.

The suicide car bomb detonated near the base of a large building across
the street which is home to many Australian soldiers. From there they
guard the checkpoint to their nearby embassy from the multi-story
building with snipers. Two smoldering bits of a vehicle sit nearby the
building, and two bodies lay in pools of blood across the street.

A small building near the Australian outpost received heavy damage
right in front of the detonated car. Despite being heavily fortified
with concrete barriers, razor wire, sand bags, and sand barriers, the
outpost has chunks blown out of it and the netting and plywood which
covers many of the windows is hanging haphazardly out the openings.

I was on the roof just minutes after the blast and the Iraqi Police (IP)
had already arrived en masse. A woman screaming in hysterics is pushed
inside one of their trucks and taken away…she was trying to reach one of
the bodies as several policeman ushered her off.

Other IP’s inspect the bodies while black smoke plumes languidly drift
down the street in the early morning stillness.

Police run about, yelling orders and barking at journalists, but there
is nothing much else for them to do. They load the two bodies into a
vehicle and drive them to a morgue.

It is a seemingly senseless attack-as this building occupied by the
Australian military is so heavily fortified that no car bomb could
possibly reach it. This one caused merely superficial damage,
and killed only civilians while wounding some Australian soldiers.

This was a smaller car bomb, as it didn’t leave a crater like so many of
the others. Nevertheless, glass is shattered in buildings hundreds of
meters away from the blast, pieces of wall are crumbled…it is like being
in a large earthquake, but the tremors consolidated into one large shake.

About 20 minutes later several truckloads of Iraqi soldiers show up,
many of them wearing their usual black facemasks.

15 minutes after this the US military shows up with 10 Humvees, a
Bradley and a large tank. They seal the street, and
begin to string their razor wire across the road.

Two Apache helicopters arrive and commence rumbling in circles around
the area, buzzing overhead.

I watch an old woman who lives in a home just across from the bombing.
She is walking around in her yard aimlessly, sometimes stopping to
slowly pick up rubble from her wall that was damaged in the blast, then
just looking around her home.

Half an hour after this another large car bomb detonates in eastern
Baghdad at an Iraqi police headquarters, killing 18 people as the
explosion echoes across the capital city.

I return to my room to commence writing…Abu Talat calls and can’t make
it over for our work because so many roads nearby my hotel are closed.

As I write three more huge explosions rumble across the center of
Baghdad. In a span of just 90 minutes five car bombs detonated killing
at least 26 people.

One of the car bombs detonated outside a bank where IP’s were collecting
their salaries, killing at least 10 of them.

Another car bomb detonated at the airport, killing two guards.

A military installation was also attacked, killing two American soldiers
and two civilians.

Iraqis around my hotel compound are sweeping up glass
as I make some calls to let folks know I’m alive.

The US-backed Iraqi government has announced draconian measures which
state that from January 29th-31st the borders of Iraq will be closed,
mobile and satellite phone services will be cut, the borders of Iraq’s
18 governorates will be closed and no civilian traffic will be allowed
near the polling stations.

Polling stations will each have several rings of security in an attempt
to stave off the violence. Be that as it may, the Ministry of Health is
making special preparations to deal with the massive bloodshed expected
for the “elections.”


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