Saturday, March 17, 2007

Perspective: U.S. Troops experience Sadr City despair first hand

Open sewage runs through much of the Sadr City slums, home to 2 million of some of the poorest Iraqis.

BAGHDAD -- Heavily armed soldiers trudge through the fetid streets of Sadr City, gagging from the stench of open sewage, eyes warily scanning ahead for trouble. Suddenly, a middle-aged man approaches -- and begs for a job...

U.S. soldiers rolled into Sadr City on March 4 primed and pumped for a fight with the notorious Mahdi Army militia of radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Instead of snipers and roadside bombs, the Americans found an even bigger problem -- a vast, crowded slum where years of misery and government neglect have created conditions for the militias to thrive.

Read the rest at the LA Times