Zeyad of Healing Iraq has been in Basra for a few days, and out of touch. He has now returned to Baghdad with an interesting account of his trip:
“We also passed through about 20 IP checkpoints between Baghdad and Basrah (good), but very few coalition soldiers were to be seen. I saw what looked like Polish or Ukrainian soldiers near Kut and a few convoys of Brits in both the Maysan and Basrah governorates.
“It was a bit depressing to realize that all the postwar problems and much of the violence were concentrated in the capital. The farther we went from Baghdad, the more we felt secure and safer. Life in Basrah looked pretty normal. British soldiers wandered freely around town with very little protection. The Brits use Land Rovers for patrolling and soldiers don’t wear bullet-proof vests. It was obvious that they were facing less troubles there than American troops in the northern and central Iraq.
“The taxi driver who took us to the hotel looked bewildered when we were telling him about the situation in Baghdad. He was whining about the electricity situation and said that during some days they would experience 2 or 3 hours of outages due to maintenance. When we enlightened him that we were suffering from 16 hours of outage a day in Baghdad he almost cried out of pity for us.”
Zeyad has posted a number of pictures from his trip; you can see them all on his site. Here are a couple; the first is of British soldiers just north of Basra.
This one shows a traffic cop on a busy street in Basra:
I like Zeyad’s pictures, and those of other bloggers, because they provide an unedited glimpse into everyday life in Iraq, free of the usual big-media filter.
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