Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

Live from Iraq...

I heard that coverage of the war at CNN Germany was much better and more open than for the domestic CNN, so I figured I would give it a look. Although I can read some German, I make it easy on myself and use the Google Translate bookmarklet. Certainly appears to be a lot more balanced reporting... and all the video there is free, too.

The site had a link to a live camera from Reuters in Baghdad... with sound, even. Fire, smoke, and wind today with 100% chance of continued bombs falling through the nighttime hours.

This is obviously sent by satellite, as it is skipping from the "webcam" to a raw Reuters news feed. Not just Reuters Raw News, but all the stuff they don't show us, presumably.

Seeing footage of Iraqis in front of a burnt-out private home (presumably in Baghdad) that was near a blast. They show footage from inside a kitchen with people in the street displaying metal that is presumably from a US bomb or missile. They finally show a piece that seems to indicate it's "one of ours" -- grey scorched metal with black lettering saying "wing".

Now, they're showing unedited footage from what appears to be a Baghdad hospital. Several more recently injured people, including a man with a broken leg who is screaming in pain. Is this a new patient, or is this merely more confirmation about the lack of availability for anesthesia and pain medicine?

And now, it's live footage as people prepare for an Iraqi press conference. All sorts of members of the press are parading in front of a podium with a sea of microphones, adjusting, tweaking, and primping their respective microphone, trying to get prime real estate. I crank up the volume so I can hear the room chatter... Arabic and British English, primarily, with some French. Someone with an Arab accent says "Hello boys... welcome home!" Several reporters chuckle. Many have obviously been here before...



An Iraqi representative comes up to the podium. Obviously tired, he pinches his eyes blearily. A westerner comes up and talks to him, and the Iraqi representative says "Maybe he's late"... a British voice says "Is it cancelled? Is it cancelled?" The Iraqi leaves the podium and presumably goes back into the crowd. Reporters rush up to the podium... within minutes, the sea of microphones is reduced to a handful, resting under the watchful gaze of Saddam.

The feed from the press conference goes black... back to the image of the camera. Back to the picture from Iraq, and then some footage from a mosque. Beautiful. Stunning. Sacred. A mullah says something riveting, and you pick out the phrase "jihad". "Allahu Akbar...Allahu Akbar..." This is followed by people leaving the mosque and protesting.

Lots of cars going past the balcony where the camera is. I hear the traffic, the gusting wind, and the smalltalk of those nearby... the slow, deliberate sounding yet vaguely SoCal words of an American stepping out on the balcony and greeting an Arab. "Hello, buh-ddy..."

Suddenly, unexpectedly, a wailing air siren is heard. It's a lot more alarming when you hear it in its proper context -- you might know that it is likely to happen, but can you ever get used to it? It lasts for a minute and then fades out.

A few minutes later, there are the sounds of an obvious protest somewhere below the balcony, led by an organizer.

(yell, yell, yell... SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM!)

... and, out of nowhere, the sound of what must be a half-dozen fighting dogs. Someone on the balcony starts singing (quite well) a short piece of a song in Arabic. Welcome to Iraq.
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