Monday, December 11, 2006


There was an IZ marathon one morning, (rare morning that I was driving to work). This is the same route I take walking. The runner's are tiny blips and the photo quality not so hot - I include these mostly to show you what the IZ looks like. Before coming, I'd assumed it was a bustling city-center.

Hardly. This was mostly Saddam's private retreat and its environs, GOVT Buildings, Palaces, etc - off-limits to 99.7% of Iraqis.

And you don't want "bustling" in the Mid-East. Trust me. The city outside our T-walls teems with gnarled traffic, street commerce and sewage and trash. As you can see, the IZ itself is criss-crossed with T-walls. Not so much suburban as much as a labyrinthine white-collar prison. You have environs - you just can't see them - until you pass through the particular security gate.

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