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[casi] From Riverbend..

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Some Links...

People have been asking about the casualties in Iraq.
Check out this report: Continuing Collateral Damage:
The health and environmental costs of war on Iraq.

As for the deaths of troops in Iraq, the best page
that summarizes these is Today in Iraq-
( I know nothing
about the page beyond the fact that it gives a daily
summary of the main newsworthy events and gives links,
brief commentary and occasional rants. It is worth
checking daily.

I updated the recipes page

Danny Schechter has a new page called "Dissectorville"

- posted by river @ 5:50 AM


These last few days have been tense- gunshots,
helicopters, and explosions. A couple of days ago, we
counted around 23 explosions. My cousin, his wife and
their two daughters were at our house when the
commotion began. A few explosions were so loud, the
windows began to rattle with each impact and I had
flashbacks of March and April.

The kids reacted differently- the older one, ran to
sit beside her mother, as far away from the
living-room window as possible. She once confided to
me that the glass terrified her; four of the windows
at her grandparents' home cracked during the 'shock
and awe' phase of the bombing and she still remembers
the incident. The younger one was silent and stoic.
You can hardly tell she's scared except that if you
sit particularly close, you can hear her grinding her
little teeth, which is what she does when she's
frightened. It drives my cousin crazy because the kid
loses herself in a sort of trance when she does that
and it's all we can do to keep her mind off of
whatever she's brooding about. At one point she asked,
"Is it war again?" No, it isn't war, dearů the
helicopters, tanks, missiles, rattling windows and
explosions aren't war- they are 'protection': they are
Operation Iron Hammer, not to be confused with war.

When it got particularly heavy, and the helicopters
began hovering above, E. wanted to go out to the roof
and see what was happening and what exactly was being
bombed. My mother declared NO ONE would go up to the
roof- the helicopters were flying low and the troops
haven't been too discriminating lately when it came to
civilians- especially the ones in helicopters and

At one point, the helicopters got so loud, it felt
like they were going to land on the roof. E. was
restless, pacing between the house and garden, trying
to catch a glimpse of the commotion. We found out
later an old Republican Guard facility had been
bombed- though no one understands why: who would use
*that* as a meeting place?! Other areas were bombed
and one of the areas was evacuated- although some
people preferred staying in their homes.

The 14th of July Bridge was closed again. The 14th of
July Bridge is also known as the "Mu'alaq Bridge", or
the suspended bridge. It's the bridge I described in
one of my earlier posts. The bridge was closed to
civilians during the war (after the 9th of April, I
think) and was re-opened about two weeks ago. I
haven't been on the bridge since late March. I dread
having to cross it again because it was the scene of
many horrible deaths- many civilian cars were burned
on that bridge. A friend of ours lost his wife and dog
on that bridge when a tank fired at his SUV in April.
It was 5 days before he was allowed to remove her
corpse from the burnt vehicle and give her a proper

I heard about the new 'acceleration to transfer power'
to the GC. I'm not sure how it's going to work.
Chalabi gave his speech in English today with Talbani
on his right and Pachachi peering over his shoulder on
the left. I read Juan Cole's blog and he describes a
report given by ABC
which didn't sound like the speech. From the speech, I
gathered that by June, the GC would nominate and elect
a 'sovereign government'. But, again, who elected the
GC? Someone asked Talabani, I think, whether the same
GC members would actually be in the 'elected'
government, the answer was "Yes, if our parties still
want us as their representatives". I'll have to look
into it more. I'm still not sure what this means.
There's still some confusion here as to how this whole
new government will be chosen by June...

- posted by river @ 5:21 AM

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