Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Grandstand

The Longview: This is the view from one end (underneath one pair of swords) to the other. At left in the middle-distance, (beneath the largest light-array) is the grandstand where Saddam would review his lackeys. Many famous photos and clips were shot here. Most notably, the one with Saddam in Western attire (trench-coat, tie) firing his shot-gun in the air.

This is the state of things now. This is the view looking back across the walkway to the speaker's platform which is front and center and prominent. The graffitti is American, of course.

In the complex to the rear of the grandstand is a labyrinth of stairs and interconnecting hallways and VIP rooms - well past their former glory - looted and in ruins, (and DARK - without any light!)

This is one of the chairs (unlooted) that sit row upon row behind the speaker's or Reviewer's (read "Saddam's") platform. There are small lap-desks that fold up and out, and if you'll look closely on the right-hand side you'll see a black-tube emerging from under the seat with a partially viewable exhaust vent. These are individually dedicated air-ducts, blowing cool, air-conditioned air on each of the seats occupants. (This is all OUTSIDE, if the pictures don't make it clear . . . I should've taken one from the ground level, but the stands are so high, the angle reveals nothing but a wall of concrete).

No comments: