Day 5 the 24th of March 2003.
I woke up at dawn after the sound of a massive explosion rocked our house to hear short after that, the voice of the sheikh in the mosque saying the prayers he was ordered to say. He sounded sleepy, tired and exhausted. What happened? He used to say those prayers loud and clear with the start of every raid and now raids continue all around the clock. The man's voice got hoarse but it seems that he has chose to say his prayers only following close explosion near his mosque. I guess he's praying for himself rather than his leader.
With light I saw a strange scene that I don't think I ever saw nor do I think it will happen again. Several colors mixed in the skies to give an odd color that made it a very depressive view. A red sandy storm that I've never seen like before mixed with the black color of the smoke coming from the burned oil-filled ditches, and the smoke that results from explosions and jet fighters. Nature and battle combined their efforts to make a painting that was very gloomy.
We went shopping despite the sandy whether. I warned my friends not to buy any milk products or meat from now on because I don't think they have been producing anything new for probably a week, and that from now on we should depend mainly on the stored food. No one listened to my advice which seems to be not appropriate at the time!! There are more serious hazards.
We heard today that the fire in the one of the oil-wells was extinguished and that humanitarian aid are flowing to the southern of Iraq, but the really exciting news was that the coalition forces are now about 100 km to the south of Baghdad. We couldn't define on the map which spot they were talking about, but I think the troops are close now to the republican guards' forces that encircles Baghdad and by this average, it seems we are only few days away before the coalition reaches Baghdad.
One of the rumors I heard today on the streets was that America is preparing for printing the new bank notes for the after-Saddam period. People on the streets are now balder in their discussions and it seems that the sounds of the air planes above our heads that rarely stop make us them feel how close the end is. We are still afraid of the regime dogs that still search for some reward on our account. We are hearing about executions to some Iraqis who work for the coalition forces inside Baghdad by providing information about certain targets.
The bombing continued during the day despite the bad weather.
The night meeting with the friends was in my friend's house. We are missing the extensive bombing in the 1st 4 days. We need extreme force and that would be the only thing that would end this soon. Saddam will not surrender easily. He doesn't speak nor does he understand any language other than violence. He seized power by violence, ruled by violence and will not be removed by anything other than extreme force.