a message to cindy sheehan, from Iraq the Model
Stuff like this kills me.
Maybe I'm just an emotional type. I don't know.
I worked for a while at a police station in the sector of Baghdad formerly known as "Saddam City", now called "Sadr City", after a cleric who was persona non grata under the Saddam regime.
From the roof of that police station, you could see this huge apartment complex. It looked like the type of thing built in America during the 70's, a set of gigantic, identical, ugly buildings, like the buildings my current apartment is in. The only differance was that it had a wall, concertina wire, and gunposts; the area around the buildings looked more suited to a fortress than an apartment complex. But I always assumed that was post-war, lots of places had concertina wire around them. But the buildings still struck me as out of place; I have pictures of it somewhere.
So one day, I was standing on the roof of that police station, and I asked my translator (a very good guy; an english major at Baghdad U named Quasay, of all things) what exactly those buildings are.
He told me: The Fedayeen Saddam and secret police used to take people there. Once inside those walls, you didn't come back out. Everybody knows somebody that had been taken there.
That's a short version, and one of several stories I have about that place. But that moment was a dawning realization, a dawning horror for me: those buildings could house hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Taken from the street, from their homes. No reason, just taken. Read Mohammed's post, and think about those buildings.