June 23, 2006

The Intersection Of Bad And Worse


An LAT article on Friday (Baghdad on Curfew Amid Armed Clashes) describes Baghdad’s escalating chaos since a curfew went into effect this week.

The BAG was interested in how one mundane Yahoo News shot elaborates those events.  We heard a lot — surrounding Bush’s drop in a week ago — about the massive deployment of U.S. and Iraq troops to secure Baghdad.

After gun battles broke out Friday morning in the city center, however (beginning with Shiite versus Sunni, followed by U.S. and Iraqi against who-knows-who), citizens became stranded after the government imposed a mid-morning state of emergency.  The gestures and expressions of these women reflect the stress and confusion in how to proceed.

Notice, also, that the women are standing on the road in a large intersection.  One thing they don’t seem mindful of is the traffic.  That’s because the streets now shut down on Friday’s between 11 to 3 to prevent car bombings when people typically attend the mosque.

Small comfort, you might ask?  Not when the government came back and tightened restrictions even more.  Sometime around the time these women were rushing to get off the street, the Iraqi government extended the vehicular ban to foot traffic.

(image: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AP.  June 23, 2006.  Baghdad.  Via YahooNews.)

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Michael Shaw
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