Saturday, August 20, 2005

Long Day(s)

August 13 started early for us, our alarms going off at 1:30 AM. We brushed teeth, ate something, and got dressed for what we thought would be an early day. We had no idea how long it would last.

We were up so early for yet another raid. What we thought was a once-in-a-while sort of mission has now become quite regular, sometimes up to two per week, where we cordon off an entire neighborhood and search the whole thing, house by house. The raids are designed to 'send a message' to the locals in that area (usually one with a higher concentration of IED bombings than other areas) to police up their own areas, or we'll do it for them, the hard way (see the link above to the story about the awkwardly-named 'Operation Barbarian Fireworks').

We're out the gate at 4:00 AM and at the neighborhood soon after. In reality, it's not really a 'raid' per se, at least not to me. That word conjures images of Confederate cavalry swooping down on a sleepy village from a nearby hill, or marauding Vikings who terrorize the British coast. Our so-called raids are much more mundane, quiet, and pretty friendly all around.

Our team of Iraqi police (IP), one interpreter, and two U.S. soldiers, searches house by house, leapfrogging other teams through the neighborhood, as I try to collect some photos of the homes' interiors for this blog. We're stymied at a contractor's new house (the same one in the photo below, in the Iraqi Homes section, with green tiles with the golden loveseat swing), which while yet unoccupied has several rooms upstairs that are locked.
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