Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Perspective: Iraq Gunfire Answers Reporter's Question

A Saturday market at Samarra

SAMARRA, Iraq -- The Humvees set out from the forward operating base, forcing cars and trucks to the side of the road to avoid car bombs. We head south to Samarra.

We rolled past men wearing dishdashas, traditional Arab robes, staring quietly from storefronts -- where everything from wedding gowns to tires to bananas, cauliflower and radishes were on display.

It was Saturday -- market day -- and the streets were bustling. I felt an urge to ask the driver to pull over so I could check out some deep red rugs with intricate traditional patterns. Western reporters in Iraq are largely confined to heavily guarded compounds and armored cars, and rarely venture out onto the street.

But we were on a schedule. So I settled for leaning back -- at least as far as my body armor would let me -- and taking in the sights of this ancient city in the Sunni heartland north of Baghdad.

Read the rest at the Washington Post