Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I am guessing the numbers will get close to the 800 deaths by tonight; it is already more than 650. Such an unbelievable disaster. I guess we can only be thankful that almost everyone agrees that this wasn’t an attack. But it is still early.

First a couple of Placemarks for your Google Earth (right-click and save, then open from your desktop). If you don’t have Google Earth then download it here .(the fact that Google keeps releasing things only for Windows is a bit frustrating, but that's a nother issue)

Placemark: Kadhum Shrine.
Placemark: A’ima Bridge.
Placemark: Abu Hanifa Mosque.

The bridge connects two of the oldest districts in Baghdad. Adhemyia and Kadhemyia. One Sunni the other Shia. The bridge is very symbolic in that way and the street connects two important shrines for each of the sect.

[3:50pm The minister of Health is just making a statement. He is saying that someone shouted that there is a suicide attacker on the bridge which caused the panic, he is also accusing the ministers of defense and interior of being negligent. He is says they either take full responsibility or resign.
As a side note from me; the minister if defense is Sunni and the minister of interior affairs is Shia].

The bridge has only been open for pedestrian traffic and it is usually closed even for pedestrians on occasions like these. What you don’t see on the Google Earth pictures are concrete blocks closing the bridge, the satellite images were obviously taken before the war.

There was apparently a bit of a scuffle between the ministers of defense and interior because the minister of defense insists that he gave orders to close the bridge today while the minister of interior decided to allow pedestrians on it. Not that their argument will be any use to more than 600 dead.

Six Hundred. That’s really unbelievably high.
My mother sat crying in front of the TV as al-Sharqiya started showing footage of people trying to find relatives covered in these strange shimmery-golden covers. A kid with a prayer book. An arm blue and red limp on the ground. A man sitting beside a covered body shouting at the camera. I put my headphones on, I can’t listen or I’ll start blubbering.

I tell you whichever god you believe in, it has abandoned this land. Can’t you friggin’ see the signs?