Monday, March 31, 2008

Three Seconds

AFP:

With volleys of mortars and rockets raining down daily on Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, security rules for soldiers and diplomats in the complex have taken on a chilling new urgency.

Two US officials and two Iraqi guards of Sunni Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi have been killed since last Sunday, when the first waves of attacks began on the zone, seat of the Iraqi government and home to foreign embassies.

Some staff members of the US embassy admit they are in a state of constant fear and prefer to sleep on cots inside the embassy building -- formerly a palace of Saddam Hussein -- than in their less-safe living quarters.

Warning alarms in the Green Zone, the most shelled 10 square kilometres (four square miles) of Baghdad, give about three seconds to find shelter in one of the numerous "duck and cover" concrete bunkers, a US military officer said.

"As you drive through, you are constantly assessing where is the nearest bunker," he added. ...

"The atmosphere is tense," said a US embassy staffer who asked not to be named. "Our nerves are shot. We are always afraid."

If someone told you in 2003 that, five years on, the Green Zone would be a latter-day mini Khe Sanh, what would you have thought?

18 Comments:

Anonymous goldhorder said...

If someone told you in 2003 that, five years on, the Green Zone would be a latter-day mini Khe Sanh, what would you have thought?

Of course...how could it not?

3/31/2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2003, I put myself in the place of an Iraqi. If another country invaded the US and put a puppet government in place, I'd spend all of my time trying to kill every last one of the invaders and puppets.

Empathy. Try it sometime.

3/31/2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

It doesn't surprise me at all.

3/31/2008 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who do not learn history's lessons are doomed to make the same mistakes...

3/31/2008 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

The propaganda is truly insidious. Notice how the news article says "last Sunday, when the first waves of attacks began on the zone", as if the Green Zone had never been shelled before.

After you get below the fold, you read that "the Green Zone, [is] the most shelled 10 square kilometres of Baghdad", but I have noticed that whenever there is any uptick in the violence -- either that we take, or that we dish out -- the press tends refer to it with bright shiny adjectives like "new", "fresh", "shattering", etc. As if the whole Iraq issue had been completely settled during the last small lull in combat, and the latest violence is a surprise.

The press is clearly quoting armchair Beltway insiders who keep trying to claim any small, temporary dip in mortality as the 'beginning of the end' of the war. (anyone remember "Last throes of the insurgency," etc.?) And that message is being passed to the American people. Too bad for the Beltway that Americans are finally starting to remember how often they've heard those words. Again, the quote about "some of the people all of the time" springs to mind.

3/31/2008 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thought would have been: told you so.

3/31/2008 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on the empathy side.
judyo

3/31/2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger LFC said...

But the surge is successful. We're winning! At least that's what John McCain keeps telling us.

3/31/2008 3:03 PM  
Blogger Miss Bliss said...

Exactly what I WAS thinking at that time, "What the hell are we doing in Iraq?"

3/31/2008 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone told you in 2003 that, five years on, the Green Zone would be a latter-day mini Khe Sanh, what would you have thought?

I wouldn't have been surprised.
-- sglover

3/31/2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the surge has been successful, what's happening now must be the best case scenario.

I feel very sorry for everyone who's caught in the middle of this nonsense.

Toppling Saddam and removing Sunnis from power, empowered the Shias, who are backed by Iran. Is that a surprise for anyone?

3/31/2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/01/2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/01/2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/01/2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

Surprised? Not so much? Appalled? Absolutely. At Bush? A little. At the insurgents? Not really; I'd expect people to not take kindly to occupation. At the congress, who could have taken action from the start, in the middle or now? Without a question. Pull the freaking plug. Let the Iraqis work it out, because we are not helping anybody, and our soldiers, contractors and diplomats are dying. I don't want to see Americans dying anywhere, but if there is a war anywhere and if Americans must be dying anywhere, it's in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A while ago, GW said, "Bring it on." We should have taken it to them like a flaming piston rod to a diesel engine.

4/01/2008 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only candidate who is talking about going after OBL is Obama. The rest doesn't seem to care.

4/01/2008 6:33 AM  
Anonymous George said...

If someone told you in 2003 that, five years on, the Green Zone would be a latter-day mini Khe Sanh, what would you have thought?

That is what people were telling me in 2003, because I was listening to Liberals, not Conservatives. This is not to say that I didn't try listening to Conservatives. It's just that they kept spouting lies and nonsense, and I got tired of it.

4/04/2008 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have said "Five years? It wont take that long." And it didn't.

4/06/2008 8:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home