Saturday, August 06, 2005

The cost of freedom

The cost of freedom

Many words on war have been offered, the times we live in demand this. Our existence today justifies the art of war. Super powers gamble freely with human life, and justify, the cost of freedom.

Today I start my conditioning, my desensitizing, as it were, to the reality of where I am going. Like all the others, it is common to become familiar with the truth, and then disregard and discard it. The acknowledgement of the reality, is not conducive to good business conduct. Focus on the project. Chase the money. Get on, and out with your life, if you can.

MFP, U.A.E.-April 2004-04-17

I wrote these words last year 17th April, two weeks before transferring to Iraq on a project contract. I had no idea what was waiting for me in Baghdad. Only what CNN had kindly broadcasted for the world to see, and feedback from our IT staff who were already deployed in Iraq. It seems like a lifetime ago, and yet at the same time, it seems like it was only yesterday...
This photo depicts the first time in my life I stood in the aftermath of a pre-invasion bombing. In what is known today as the "Greenzone" in Baghdad, US military intelligence had identified one of Saddams palaces as a strategic target.On 27th March 2003, it took two precision strikes to reduce a once magnificent structure to rubble. We were told that no one was killed in the airstrike. It turned out that the strike was more significant than was expected at the time. In the early 1980's, Saddam commissioned a Specialist German Engineering company,Boswau & Knauer, to build an underground bunker below the palace. After the strike, ground forces accidentally came across the bunker, 4 levels deep. This bunker could provide complete self sustaining and safe billeting for up to 50 personnel.
Official Pentagon sources said a U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bomber dropped two 4,500-pound GBU-37 ,"bunker-buster" bombs on a target located on the east bank of the Tigris River in downtown Baghdad.

The palace was almost completely destroyed, the bunker did not even have a crack in the almost two meter thick ceilings.


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