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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Liberated to Death

Baghdad is now one of the world's most dangerous cities. From AP:
By day or night, Baghdad has become a cacophony of automatic weapons fire, explosions and sudden death, its citizens living in constant fear of being shot by insurgents or the security forces meant to protect them.

Streets are crammed with passenger cars fighting for space with armored vehicles and pickups loaded with hooded and heavily armed Iraqi soldiers.

Hundreds of bombs in recent months have made mosques, public squares, sidewalks and even some central streets extremely dangerous places in Baghdad.

On Haifa Street, rocket-propelled grenades sometimes fly through traffic. Rashid Street is a favorite for roadside bombers near the Tigris River.

And then there's Sadoun Street, once teeming with Western hotels and home to Firdous Square -- the landmark roundabout in central Baghdad where Iraqis toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein.

In the two years since Hussein's ouster, Sadoun Street has become an avenue of blast walls -- thick concrete slabs 6 to 12 feet high -- that protect government buildings and hotels now home to the few Western contractors and journalists who remain.
The Sarajevo of the zeroes, and this time it's entirely the fault of the Americans.