Day 3 the 22nd of March 2003.
A strange-looking morning in Baghdad. I went out to our garden where I usually have my tea as an important daily routine, to see the skies dark and the light blocked by ugly looking and poisonous smelling black clouds. I looked around and saw that these clouds were everywhere. They were not the smoke that usually results from explosions, but one of the tyrant’s stupid plans. He had set fire in the previously prepared and filled with oil trenches that were situated all around Baghdad without the slightest concern about people’s health. It didn’t occur to him what such poisoned air may do to a man with asthma, for instance.
The criminal wants to poison everything in an attempt to blind the missiles that followed him and his deputies everywhere. It was a disgusting scene and a suffocating atmosphere. I couldn’t stay at home so I went out despite that the air attacks were still going all around the day, but what is noticeable today is that the alarm siren started to be terribly late and many times went a long time after the raid would start and sometimes never even responded. It seems that they are really shocked and are in total imbalance.
The streets were almost normal and people were shopping and cars were still passing, carrying people to their works. This was accompanied by an abundant presence of all kinds of security forces. I was with a friend when we decided to see the effects of last night’s strikes. We passed beside some of the targets that were hit in the last night. Light smoke was still coming out of some of them. 1st we went to take a look at the military intelligence main headquarters that lays at the western bank of the Tigress river. The damage was not clear from that distance where we stood but as we drove nearer we saw one of its buildings had totally collapsed. We went to see the general security headquarters. We could hardly hide our smiles of triumph. Ok, it seems that the main national Ba’ath party headquarters was hit directly. This is the 3rd time this building get bombed in the past ten years. We passed near one of those oil-filled holes, which were burning near the highway, and we felt its heat strongly on our skin.
A black sign caught my attention; it was mourning the death of “Naief Shintaf” a senior Baathist who was killed in Najjaf. It seems that the missiles know their way pretty well and this is your share” Naief”. I don’t know how many innocent people you killed to get Saddam’s trust and to get your high position, palaces and all other privileges, but now it’s payback time.
I went back home to follow the news and the top story is that the American troops in turkey had to change their plans and head for the red sea. I didn’t find it strange from the Turkish government, they had special care from Saddam in trading and it seems they want enough compensation. I call it blackmail and I’m sure they’ll regret it. I’ll never forgive the governments of the neighboring countries that built their fortune by sucking our blood. God, I despise them.
The American air force bombs the strongholds of “Ansar Al-Islam” in the Kurdish areas and kills many of them. The Kurds declare their readiness and willingness to fight with the coalition. The good news is that the coalition forces are now controlling most of the oil wells in the south and start their efforts to extinguish 7 of these who are still burning. All right, one of the “hostages” is free now. One of Saddam’s hostages was our fortune; he was willing to burn it. How many crimes do you have to commit, Saddam, so that the whole world could be convinced that you are the devil himself!?
The coalition forces control the Basra international airport and intermittent fighting in Om Qasir. I remember this small town where we lived for few months. What’s the meaning of their fighting? I don’t believe it’s the Iraqi army, but most probably the local ba’athists and Oday’s fydaeen. It’s a small isolated town and living far away from ANY civilization. I remember a joke in Basra that says when a traffic lights were placed for the first time in this town, the local people used to take their dinner and go for a trip to sit near that single traffic light watching it for a long time and it was such an amusement for them to see how the lights change on their own regularly!!! Now this town is famous all over the world and the regime is betting on her resistance!!!
Now the planes were dropping innumerable small posters promising humanitarian aids and warn the army commanders from obeying Saddam’s orders once he decides to use chemical weapons.
One of the Ba’athists in our neighborhood rang my neighbor’s bell and my friend went out and looked at him saying “what do you want?” and the Ba’athist said” there are some enemy posters over that tree in your house, let me go inside and pick them to burn them” my friend laughed and said “don’t worry, I’ll pick them myself” it was a funny scene to see them running in the streets trying to gather these posters in order to burn them! However I managed to keep some of them for memories.
The night came bringing again the sounds of fear and horror; dozens of missiles falling all over Baghdad. We were shacking with each explosion. The bombing was heavy and I wonder where “the leaders” spend their night? I don’t think the last night bombing left them any proper place to sleep in. they couldn’t stay even in the schools and houses they moved into as a substitute position. Whenever a wave of bombing starts almost everyone take shelter in their houses except those wretches, they couldn’t feel safe inside and you could see them running as fast as they can outside their temporary position with each start of a wave of bombing, they couldn’t feel safe anywhere.
Another night full of tension, different feelings crowd inside us; fear, hope and anticipation. My head has no place for anything more.