Saturday, March 24, 2007

Destination: Baghdad!


Baghdad is an immense city. The urban sprawal is equal to anything you will find in Atlanta. I journeyed to the city I first visited four years ago. My expectations were one of some chaos. None was to be seen. Many of the streets, bridges, and buildings damaged in the war have been repaired. On Friday, the call to prayer could be heard. All movement by cars are stopped at this time to stop potential suicide car bombers from striking. One bomber did manage to blow himself up this day and kill others, but the overall sound of the city was surprisingly quiet. I met several Iraqi workers. They shyed away when they saw my camera, but I simply covered it up and nodded my head no, that I would not be taking their photo. You can still see the fear that exists for those that want to rebuild their country, but don't want to be targeted by the few terrorists that want to stop their chance at having a normal life. The soldiers here are great. They all are working hard to do a job, complete their mission and come on home. I felt a degree of guilt watching soldiers head out on patrol. I was like a passing tourist, a short timer on a much different mission. Part of me longed to stay with my brothers in arms, but this was not my time nor my mission. I have a few more days left here, before shipping back to the states, and back to cbs46. I return with a much different perspective than the one I had when I arrived in Iraq. Its one of hope, pride and freedom for the Iraqi people. We as Americans tend to forget the freedoms we have on daily basis. Perhaps one day, those here in Iraq will get the chance to experience the same. To those who want to bring the troops home, the day will come when they will do just that. But only when this new democracy is ready to take care of its own. The photo above is of me on top of the old Baath Party headquarters near the green zone. The large building over my shoulder is the large Mosque Saddam started to build but never completed.

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