Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, April 11, 2003

From a Korean embed in Baghdad.

On March 10, the day after Baghdad fell to coalition forces, we drove across the Euphrates River into the ancient capital. As we entered Baghdad, 46 days after joining the U.S. 101st Airborne Division as an embedded war correspondent, I was reminded of a scene in World War II movies.

Baghdad was still burning. The city was covered in smoke and rumbles filled the air as artillery shells landed somewhere and plumes of smoke and dust rose into the air. Battles were still being waged against the remnants of the old regime.

As the convoy crossed the Euphrates, remains of the Iraqi Republican Guard came into view. Anti-tank guns, armored personnel carriers and at least 30 Soviet-made T-72 tanks were charred and empty.
Baghdad was a liberated zone, or perhaps the site of a surrender. Whichever it was, there were white flags hanging from buildings and cars all along the route. Even a shepherd had a torn white plastic bag draped over his shoulder. Men and women in traditional garb watched the convoy pass. A group of young men held up a sign saying, "Welcome in Iraq." Major Koller was visibly moved as he saw the Iraqi welcome. "They are opening their hearts," he said. "I didn't think we'd be welcomed like this."

A man pushed a cart full of plastic chairs by the convoy; people poured from an official-looking building with goods in hand. They were busy looting the remnants of a dictatorship.

< email | 4/11/2003 12:41:00 PM | link

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