Friday, April 02, 2004

Days I do not want to forget.

The beginning of the collapse.

-The day, Wednesday, the 2nd. Of April 2003.
The rhythm of the events is getting faster and it seems that the collapse of the regime is so close. The situation changed today after the important achievement of the coalition forces when they crossed the Tigris River north to Al-Kut. Now the troops are 40 Km only from Baghdad, mean while, the 3rd. infantry division succeeds in crossing an important bridge over the Euphrates and now taking positions about 30 Km south west of Baghdad.
These events made us stick to our maps for a long time trying to figure out where the troops have reached but the movement is so fast and we can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow.
The prominent victory of the day is entering Najaf. The folks are welcoming the liberators and the religious leaders advise the citizens to stay calm and not to interfere with the troops’ job.
The scene is so exciting; they’ve got their freedom, tears came to my eyes watching the city getting free from horror, at last. Oh Najaf, you’ve suffered enough from the tyrant and now it’s time for you to enjoy freedom.
The wonderful picture was the behavior of the American soldiers when the citizens asked them to stay out of the shrine. We are not familiar with such scenes. It was thought that some of the Fedayeen were hiding inside the shrine; the well-trained and equipped forces respect the unarmed civilian who has nothing but a request and the soldiers lower their guns and retreat from the shrine’s yard.
This is the first time I see force respect an opinion. I’ll never forget this; I’ve learned something new today. I owe you a lot soldiers; you proved how courageous and humane you are; I hope that Baghdad’s day will come soon.
The troops are still moving fast. This day is full of events. There are rumors in Baghdad that the coalition forces crossed the red line (which is supposed to be the limit after which Saddam will use chemical weapons). There also news telling that Baghdad division and Al-Madina division of the republican guard have been destroyed.
The atmosphere in Baghdad is very tense and we started to see troops from the regular army heading south in an attempt to compensate for the losses; the tanks and vehicles are already looking exhausted and I don’t think they’ll make it to the front line.
Saddam appears on TV smiling to his army leaders trying to tell that the situation is still under control! But the opposite is much truer.
The Kurdish militias cross the border line and take control of the sites that were abandoned by the retreating army.

An exceptional operation succeeds to rescue a 19-year-old female POW from the general hospital in Nassiriyah with the help of an Iraqi citizen.
People in Baghdad are expecting anything to happen now and we in the house made a meeting for the family council. The situation is serious and there’s fear that Saddam may use chemical weapons so we have to modify our plans to face the challenge; do we have to stay? Or do we have to leave Baghdad? I suggested that the others should leave and I stay here to protect the house in case things become chaotic in Baghdad. The truth is that I want to stay because I can’t resist the desire to see what I’ve waited for years. Everyone discovered this and my mother refused to leave unless we all leave. The debate was hard and lasted for more than an hour and in the end we agreed to keep the decision suspended and to act according to the coming events. However we prepared a small bag in which we put all the important documents and our Ids with all the cache and jewelry we had so that we can leave fast as soon as we decide to. We also stocked up some extra fuel for the car that will be enough to get us to Mendily city near the borders with Iran where some of our relatives live; the city is far and therefore protected from what may happen.
As a matter of fact, I made up my mind and I’ll never leave even if it cost me my life.

By Mohammed.

No comments: