Category Archives: Life in Baghdad

Another anniversary in Iraq!!!!

Today is the day on which the huge statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down in Baghdad. The anniversary will be marked in Baghdad by an all day curfew on vehicles. It’s been five long arduous years since the troops entered the city of Baghdad. What exactly has been accomplished? Oh plenty..

We have spent a boatload of money. We have managed to bring down the bulk of Iraq’s infrastructure. We have built, sometimes with slave labor, a huge American Embassy that is grossly overbudget.

Lets not forget that the Iraqi’s have been able to vote democratically! The fact that the government they elected can’t get squat done is but a small footnote..right? The Green Zone, once considered the safest place in Iraq, is being shelled almost daily by mortars and deaths are a fact of life within those walls these last two weeks. The benchmarks set for the government of Iraq have not been met by and large, but hey..according to Petraeus..its all coming together nicely..but he needs more time.

How do you plan on celebrating another war milestone in Iraq? Have a houseparty? Make sure to invite General Davy over..oh wait..I think he’s busy with the Congress critters again today.

UPDATE: The curfew did not stop squat today in Baghdad. From IHT via TO:
At least a dozen people were killed in Baghdad’s Shi’ite slum of Sadr City on Wednesday, despite vehicle bans aimed at preventing unrest from spreading on the fifth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

Police said six people died in clashes overnight, and an explosion in the morning hit a funeral in the slum, killing six more and wounding 14 people.

Dr Qasim al-Mudalla told Reuters 11 bodies and 54 wounded had been brought to the Imam Ali hospital he manages in Sadr City, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have battled militia loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr since Sunday. The dead included four children and two women, he said.

Ah yes General Davy..its going so damn well over there!!! How much more money do ya need dude to keep this going in perpetuity?

Crossposted at Bring It On!

And from our WTF? Dept…

WaPo feeds us this lovely piece of news this morning:

Iraq Embassy Cost Rises $144 Million Amid Project Delays Planning, Workmanship Cited as Problems By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 7, 2007; Page A01 The massive U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad could cost $144 million more than projected and will open months behind schedule because of poor planning, shoddy workmanship, internal disputes and last-minute changes sought by State Department officials, according to U.S. officials and a department document provided to Congress.

The embassy, which will be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, was budgeted at $592 million. The core project was supposed to have been completed by last month, but the timetable has slipped so much that the State Department has sought and received permission from the Iraqi government to allow about 2,000 non-Iraqi construction employees to stay in the country until March.

Two key office buildings, including the new chancery, will not be finished until early 2009, according to the document.

Such horseshit folks..seriously..this is a shining example of our bloated nation..excessive, expensive and extremely overdue for a lesson in reality. But we can’t afford to provide insurance to our citizens. Where is the logic? Why is this ok? Where is the fucking outrage?

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Baghdad has no water..Thanks BushCo!

Christ, this is so disgusting I have no words to describe my anger. From AP comes this:

BAGHDAD – Much of the Iraqi capital was without running water Thursday and had been for at least 24 hours, compounding the urban misery in a war zone and the blistering heat at the height of the Baghdad summer. Residents and city officials said large sections in the west of the capital had been virtually dry for six days because the already strained electricity grid cannot provide sufficient power to run water purification and pumping stations. Baghdad routinely suffers from periodic water outages, but this one is described by residents as one of the most extended and widespread in recent memory. The problem highlights the larger difficulties in a capital beset by violence, crumbling infrastructure, rampant crime and too little electricity to keep cool in the sweltering weather more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion. Jamil Hussein, a 52-year-old retired army officer who lives in northeast Baghdad, said his house has been without water for two weeks, except for two hours at night. He says the water that does flow smells and is unclean. Two of his children have severe diarrhea that the doctor attributed to drinking what tap water was available, even after it was boiled. “We’ll have to continue drinking it, because we don’t have money to buy bottled water,” he said. Adel al-Ardawi, a spokesman for the Baghdad city government, said that even with sufficient electricity “it would take 24 hours for the water mains to refill so we can begin pumping to residents. And even then the water won’t be clean for a time. We just don’t have the electricity or fuel for our generators to keep the system flowing.” Noah Miller, spokesman for the U.S. reconstruction program in Baghdad, said that water treatment plants were working “as far as we know.”

Who the hell is Noah kidding? Wotta load of bullshit. There is more to the story if you care to read it..I just can’t put it up…its beyond reprehensible. There are millions of children, and elderly..and just ordinary human beings suffering in the heat..without a drop of water. Oh fuck yeah..they are so much better off after Saddam….

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Presenting Hometown Baghdad

A series of videos on bring us into the lives of three young residents of Baghdad. The videos were filmed over the course of a year. This isn’t something you can see on the evening news or in documentary form my dear reader, except on the website for the producer or their YouTube site.

Let me tell you what broke my heart. One of the young men, Saif, in the second video, just graduated from college as a Dentist. Yet he states he would be willing to work at a gas station anywhere else in the world than stay in Baghdad. These are short video’s 2-3 minutes in length. I urge everyone to watch them. It shows how these kids are really no different than our own young people..the same wants and desires out of life. They even have created their own band, which made me smile inspite of their pain and suffering. The difference is the “symphony of bullets” and death that they live with daily. The video below is one of the series, just to pique your interest.

The following is Salon’s brief description of the set of videos:

What we immediately found absorbing in “Hometown Baghdad” is not the fear, confusion or carnage we’ve grown to expect from documentary reports out of Iraq. It’s the three men central to this series — Adel, Ausama and Saif — whose lives we see unfold in short, telling vignettes. We see them eat dinner and go to school, watch them go swimming and practice in their rock band. But in a war-torn, religiously divided city, even these simple actions are fraught.

On the fourth anniversary of our invasion of Iraq, when many of us have become hopelessly inured to reports of yet another bombing, the simple struggles of regular people take on a greater, more chilling power; we watch a way of life deteriorate before our eyes, and come to recognize the horrors of war in a way that the bold headlines or CNN news alerts no longer convey. We think you’ll find them compelling and thought-provoking, and hope you’ll write in to the Letters section to tell us what you think.