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The Power of Blogging

There’s nothing to blog about out of Caracas, but I am becoming frankly obsessed with the stunning writing going on at Where is Raed? so I’m just going to republish his writing today. Last night, I had nightmares that this kid got hurt in a bombing raid. I woke up in serious distress, I felt like I’d lost a friend. Intense.

From Salam’s blog:

A couple of weeks ago journalists were exasperated by that fact that Iraqis just went on with their lives and did not panic, well today there is a very different picture. It is actually a bit scary and very disturbing. To start wit the Dinar hit another low 3100 dinars per dollar. There was no exchange place open. If you went and asked theu just look at you as if you were crazy. Wherever you go you see closed shops and it is not just doors-locked closed but sheet-metal-welded-on-the-front closed, windows-removed-and-built-with-bricks closed, doors were being welded shut. There were trucks loaded with all sort of stuff being taken from the shops to wherever their owner had a secure place. Houses which are still being built are having huge walls erected in front of them with no doors, to make sure they donÕt get used as barracks I guess. Driving thru Mansur, Harthiya or Arrasat is pretty depressing. Still me, Raed and G. went out to have our last lunch together. The radio plays war songs from the 80Õs non-stop. We know them all by heart. Driving thru Baghdad now singing along to songs saying things like Òwe will be with you till the day we die SaddamÓ was suddenly a bit too heavy, no one gave that line too much thought but somehow these days it is sounds sinister. Since last night one of the most played old ÒpatrioticÓ songs is the song of the youth Òal-fituuwaÓ, it is the code that all fidayeen should join their assigned units. And it is still being played.

A couple of hours earlier we were at a shop and a woman said as she was leaving, and this is a very common sentence, ÒweÕll see you tomorrow if good keeps us aliveÓ Ð itha allah khalana taibeen Ð and the whole place just freezes. She laughed nervously and said she didnÕt mean that, and we all laughed but these things start having a meaning beyond being figures of speech.

There still is no military presence in the streets but we expect that to happen after the ultimatum. Here and there you see cars with machine guns going around the streets but not too many. But enough to make you nervous.

The prices of things are going higher and higher, not only because of the drop of the Dinar but because there is no more supply. Businesses are shutting down and packing up, only the small stores are open.

Pharmacies are very helpful in getting you the supplies you need but they also have only a limited amount of medication and first aid stuff, so if you have not bought what you need you might have to pay inflated prices.

And if you want to run off to Syria, the trip will cost you $600, it used to be $50. itÕs cheaper to stay now. anyway we went past the travel permit issuing offices and they were shut with lock and chain.

Some rumors:

It is being said that Barazan (SaddamÕs brother) has suggested to him tat he should do the decent thing and surrender, he got himself under house arrest in one of the presidential palaces which is probably going to be one of the first to be hit.

Families of big wigs and ÒhisÓ own family are being armed to the teeth. More from fear of Iraqis seeking retribution than Americans.

And by the smell of it we are going to have a sand storm today, which means that the people on the borders are already covered in sand. Crazy weather. Yesterday it rains and today sand.

:: salam 3:12 AM [+] ::

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Known to friend and foe alike as Quico, Francisco Toro is Executive Editor at Caracas Chronicles.

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