Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday photo blogging - Baghdad edition

By Libby

Dr. Clarissa at TMV has a link to a long run of photos of ordinary soldiers doing their best to do their job. The pix are comforting to me on the level that they show our troops in a non-combat aspect of their daily routines and it's always heartwarming to see pictures of some grunt winning a tiny tot's heart and mind with toys and treats and kindness.

But what struck me most were the pictures of Iraq, especially Baghdad. There's a bleakness in the background that can't be tempered by even the most encouraging shots. It's all so dirty and filled with rubble. I tried to find some flicker of the city's former beauty and some of these galleries did show some remaining pockets that hinted at the former life of the city but the still the photos that haunt are the bombed out buildings and the trash strewn streets.

I spent some time trying to find old pictures of what life looked like before the invasion with no real success. It's almost as if knowledge of pre-invasion Baghdad no longer exists. The best I came up with was this one shot that says it's from a gallery taken in 2000. I think it probably doesn't do the former vibracy justice, but nonetheless it hinted a life that was better, even if it was under a brutal dictator. I think it's because the shops all had lights.

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