Live from Baghdad

My adventures in Iraq.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Eve's Eve

This place can be much more peaceful than I expected. Pleasant evenings. Birds chirping. Palm trees. Beautiful sunsets.

Outside the walls, however, all is brown. Dirt and noise. Chaos.

Occassionally, that chaos intrudes upon our idyll. Always in the form of violence. The concussion of a car bomb, even one in the distance, compresses your chest. A nearby mortar round creates pressure waves that thump through your body. Small arms fire across the river is only a pop...pop...pop. Perhaps an instinctive jerk of the head, but nothing more.

After every large explosion you breathe a sigh of relief and think, "phew, I'm all right." But the next thought is that the explosion signifies that someone's life has justed ended, or more likely, several lives. It doesn't matter if they're American lives or Iraqis, everyone one of them has a family.

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all.