Excerpt from Baghdad Blog / ABC News – 2005-06-25 00:13:00
The Green Zone: Excerpt from Baghdad Blog
Sharon Collins / Department of Peace
(Jun 21, 2005) — What people find particularly frustrating is the fact that while Baghdad seems to be falling apart in so many ways with roads broken and pitted, buildings blasted and burnt out and residential areas often swimming in sewage, the Green Zone is flourishing.
The walls surrounding restricted areas housing Americans and Puppets have gotten higher- as if vying with the tallest of date palms for height.
The concrete reinforcements and road blocks designed to slow and impede traffic are now a part of everyday scenery- the road, the trees, the shops, the earth, the sky… and the ugly concrete slabs sometimes wound insidiously with barbed wire.
The price of building materials has gone up unbelievably, in spite of the fact that major reconstruction has not yet begun. I assumed it was because so much of the concrete and other building materials was going to reinforce the restricted areas.
A friend who recently got involved working with an Iraqi subcontractor who takes projects inside of the Green Zone explained that it was more than that. The Green Zone, he told us, is a city in itself. He came back awed, and more than a little bit upset.
He talked of designs and plans being made for everything from the future US Embassy and the housing complex that will surround it, to restaurants, shops, fitness centers, gasoline stations, constant electricity and water- a virtual country inside of a country with its own rules, regulations and government.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Republic of the Green Zone, also known as the Green Republic.
(June 20, 2005) — Need some entertainment on a Monday morning? How about ABC chief White House correspondent Terry (“Bulldog”) Moran, right, questioning White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan the other day? I don’t know which to admire more, Moran’s tenacity or his sense of humor. As reported by Editor & Publisher, here’s how that went:
MORAN: Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its “last throes”?
McCLELLAN: Terry, you have a desperate group of terrorists in Iraq that are doing everything they can to try to derail the transition to democracy. The Iraqi people have made it clear that they want a free and democratic and peaceful future. And that’s why we’re doing everything we can, along with other countries, to support the Iraqi people as they move forward …
MORAN: But the insurgency is in its last throes?
McCLELLAN: The Vice President talked about that the other day — you have a desperate group of terrorists who recognize how high the stakes are in Iraq. A free Iraq will be a significant blow to their ambitions.
MORAN: But they’re killing more Americans, they’re killing more Iraqis. That’s the last throes?
McCLELLAN: Innocent — I say innocent civilians. And it doesn’t take a lot of people to cause mass damage when you’re willing to strap a bomb onto yourself, get in a car and go and attack innocent civilians. That’s the kind of people that we’re dealing with. That’s what I say when we’re talking about a determined enemy.
MORAN: Right. What is the evidence that the insurgency is in its last throes?
McCLELLAN: I think I just explained to you the desperation of terrorists and their tactics.
MORAN: What’s the evidence on the ground that it’s being extinguished?
McCLELLAN: Terry, we’re making great progress to defeat the terrorist and regime elements. You’re seeing Iraqis now playing more of a role in addressing the security threats that they face. They’re working side by side with our coalition forces. They’re working on their own. There are a lot of special forces in Iraq that are taking the battle to the enemy in Iraq. And so this is a period when they are in a desperate mode.
MORAN: Well, I’m just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency.
McCLELLAN: Well, you can go back and look at the Vice President’s remarks. I think he talked about it.
MORAN: Yes. Is there any idea how long a “last throe” lasts for?
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