May 25, 2004

Missing Iraq

Iraqi blogger Omar posts a photo gallery from a couple of places in Baghdad.

He also has the best photos of marsh reed huts I've ever seen. The huts are brand-new, made from nothing but reeds. Saddam dammed up the marshes in Southern Iraq and set them on fire. The smoke could be seen from the space shuttle Endeavor. Now that the ecosystem is being restored, the Marsh Arabs are moving back in.

Some of these places in Iraq are pretty nice. Omar's photos make Baghdad look like a completely normal city. In many ways, I’m sure it is. Suicide bombs aren't a constant on every block - or on any block for that matter. Most people and buildings will never be bombed. Perusing these photos makes me wistfully wish I were there.

My worst kept secret is that I was planning to go to Iraq in December. I am very sorry to say that I have put that on hold. I'm a little bit brave, but not that brave. Not right now, anyway. Since foreigners from several different countries have been kidnapped and executed – some of them on camera - I've decided I'd better go later.

I really do want to visit. I want to talk to people and ask how they're doing. I want to breathe the free air of Baghdad. I want to see a ruined country reborn. I want to report back and let everyone know how it's going.

The United States is not attacking Iraq. The United States is defending Iraq. That would be something to see. It would really be something to write about.

In the meantime, I have other plans. Libya is first on the list. I finally reached a breakthrough in the painstaking process of getting a visa today. I'll be there in five weeks, Inshallah.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at May 25, 2004 4:33 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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