End of the War +1

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Day 1 after the end of the war:

The residents of Baghdad are slowly entering the streets, picking their way past the rubble of bombed out buildings. Many are homeless, most are hungry and desperately thirsty because the water supply to the city was one of the first targets bombed.

The hospitals are overflowing with the injured and calls for medical supplies and personnel are being issued to all countries. Many organizations answer, but some hold back until the country is stabilized, not wanting to endanger their people. There’s also the lingering fear that Saddam Hussein may have used biological weapons against the people and the attackers, though no direct evidence has surfaced of its use.

The American military is everywhere, tired though alert, faces constantly scanning the rubble and the windowless buildings looking for more snipers. In the time that they’ve fought this war, they’ve learned not to trust anyone, even the children – small hands can hold a gun or a grenade as easily as bigger hands. It’s difficult, though. These young American soldiers aren’t used to looking death in the eye of a 10 year old.

There’s an acrid smell of smoke in the air from burning oil wells near the city. American oil fire fighting companies are already on their way, but it’s going to be years before all the fires are extinguished. Unfortunately, the smell of oil and smoke is one that will become all too familiar in the region. Those with asthma and weak hearts fight to draw in breath only to cough it out so hard that in some cases they spit up blood.

The sound of gunfire rings out too frequently as groups of Shiite Muslims attack remaining members of the Baath Party, those that aren’t hiding behind western protection. So far, the Shiite haven’t attacked the Americans, but the people of Baghdad know it’s only a matter of time before they do. The Shiites have never forgiven the Americans for being encouraged to rebel against Saddam Hussein, and then not getting any military support when Hussein slaughtered them by the thousands. The tens of thousands. Memories run long and deep in the desert.

The Turkish military have invaded into Northern Iraq, seeking to control the Kurds. The Iranians entered Iraq from the East before the war started, determined to to support their Shiite brothers. American and British soldiers find themselves squeezed between the two factions, working desperately to keep them apart. There isn’t enough soldiers. No matter how many arrive daily, there isn’t enough.

One of the former curators of the National Museum of Antiquities combs through the remains of the new National Museum of Iraq, too numb to feel, too dehydrated to cry.

Rumor circulates through Baghdad that Saddam Hussein has been captured; no, he’s been killed; no, he’s still on the loose, vowing vengeance. Though the American military is in control in the city, the war doesn’t feel finished. All the people want to do is drink water and sleep.

As the President goes on television to proclaim victory in Iraq, the people of that country begin the process of burying their dead, and military commanders work frantically to keep the country from being torn apart.

At the end of the day, the setting sun is blood red from the smoke.

For Army, Fears of Post-War Strife
U.S. Hotshots ready for Iraqi Blazes
Concerns about the Consequences of a war with Iraq are Growing
Saddam’s Plans for a Dirty War
Iraq’s History is our History, too
Iraq Looks to its Rich History
Bidding Under Way for Post-War Iraq


Sorry, this isn’t a ‘beautiful protest’ but I didn’t have a lot of beauty in me today. I promise that tomorrow’s forecast will be for a sunny disposition, and maybe a bud or two of Spring.

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