One day in hell. A special report from Iraq

One day in hell.  Special Report from Iraq

… 7.30. City Erbil. It drives my hotel machine. Behind the wheel of Goran — local intelligence officer. His father was a fan of Yugoslav cinema, because we Goran is so unusual name for Iraq. The road to Kirkuk is an hour and a half … would have reached faster, but must slow down at checkpoints.

— Do you see that restaurant "Abdullah"? — Conduct a sightseeing trip up the mountain. — He has already blown up. Celebrating the marriage, burst bomber — 100 people were killed. Tu diner on the left, masked gunmen opened fire — there were many dead. And at this cafe nobody attacks. Or the owner pays the rebels, or has relatives in the "Al-Qaeda". Difficult to understand.

One day in hell.  Special Report from Iraq

"Let them get out of here!"

Highway runs along the oil fields of Kirkuk: it focuses half of all Iraqi oil supplies. In the distance, burning torches. At the curb frame "Toyota" — yesterday ran into a mine. The air is filled with oil. In
She even smell of an oily, thick. Funds do not smell? No … this is not true.

8.45. Hinder us on arrival in Kirkuk. Then the Americans — checkpoint resembles a fortress: sandbags, concrete blocks, tower and machine guns. The main base in the country: the U.S. Army can not give up without a presence of its own oil city. Take documents — Goran nervous.

— We are not masters of their own country, not even the guests — he's angry. — The waiting staff. I feel like a second class citizen.

Yankee return my passport, looking in the face.

— What the hell are you going there? — He asked me.

— See how well you have built democracy …

Fighter grins and waves his hand. He has a sense of humor.

9.10. We are inside Kirkuk. City littered with piles of garbage rotting garbage. The dilapidated house wall with traces of bullets. People are not smiling, looking askance: voltage spilled in the air. When Saddam Hussein million citizen city prospered: the oil money he lacked even the fountains. At the moment there is only one in surplus — hatred. We stop at the house of Goran brother: you have to change the car.

— A lot of people in Erbil beheld that I was eating with a foreigner, — he explained. — Could say the militants color and model of the car. It should be usmotritelnym. Foreigner we have — an expensive product.

All true. If Europeans kidnapped in Iraq, "al-Qaeda", the end of one — the video clip recording: the man cut the throat. Other categories of "good" — there is a chance that the redeemed. Not so long ago in Kirkuk insurgents kidnapped a group of women, the daughters of entrepreneurs. They returned alive: the truth, I had to release 5 of the bullpen ladies arrested for links with militants.

9.35. Goran out of the house with the news — just in Kirkuk rushed three car bombs dynamite. Fifty the wounded. At the gate slows SUV full of Iraqi fighters. Form — like the Yankees, only the patch on the sleeve with a different flag and Kalashnikovs. I speak with the commander. He was sitting under Saddam in the slammer.

— At the moment it is better?

— Worse. When Saddam was, I could not without problems NIGHT MODE to go to Baghdad. Now for a million bucks is not going anywhere. Or destroyed, or stolen. I dream that there was an order, as it was under Saddam, but without Saddam. Americans? If they wish us well, let get out of my country! And be quick.

One day in hell.  Special Report from Iraq

"Do not look them in the eye"

If such a world of people that are the Yankees, imagine what the other. It is not that the U.S. army is not adore. She can not stand here.

One day in hell.  Special Report from Iraq
Each mosque — protection masks, body armor and machine guns

11.50. We pass the site of the first explosion. The Kurdish region. Kirkuk is divided into three parts: one — the Kurds, the other — the Arabs, the third — the Turkomans (Turkic minorities). All areas of arming its militia and feuding with the neighbors. Any civilization is divided into Sunnis and Shiites, they too suffer each other may not. Arson, murder, terrorist attacks — an everyday routine. Hair stand on end when you think how to stir up a hornet's nest Americans. In any town of Iraq's front line.

Take out my camera. Goran grabs me by the shoulder.

— You can not shoot. With the camera — which means foreigner. Maybe there sniper.

The streets smell of burning. Goran raises the glass in the car: no one should hear what we say in English. Militants do not understand, we are Americans or not — just slapped in the car line.

14.00. We in the Arab part of town, near the market. Gryazyuka. People swarmed in clouds of dust, choosing Chinese junk for one-two bucks. Iraq produces nothing all imported. Eight years of war have killed and factories, and factories. Under Saddam had four beers. Now — either the 1st. Earlier in the center of Kirkuk were stalls, but they have taken down — so as not to become a target for terrorists. But a lot of buyers in the market, and no one guarding. Oh yes, the bureaucrats are the same all over the world …

17.15. Each mosque — protection masks, body armor and machine guns. Car park next to impossible. The car will be possible or bomber or a bomb. Drivers in Iraq go slowly — the war taught. In summer, the citizen was shot dead in Kirkuk Moldova, employee of the oil company of Russia: its a taxi very quickly raced to the checkpoint.

18.00. South American patrol on the street. The soldiers in armored cars yellow, with futuristic devices. The semi-circular antenna — the feeling that you were in the movie "Terminator." The military seized a machine gun trigger, nervously twisting their heads. Though what is unpleasant to feel targeted. Mobile phone stalls — "jammers" on armored cars clog the signal: that terrorists are not able to trigger the bomb.

— Do not touch the camera — Goran whispers. — Do not look them in the eye.

I'm not the first time in Iraq, and I know it. Americans often shoot at journalists. And then explain — the camera showed them a grenade launcher.

One day in hell.  Special Report from Iraq

19.20. Dinner at home with Goran. House — in the Kurdish area, with security: the rent paid $ 200 per month. The table was breaking — the wife tries to guest. Outside shooting breaks out: beating up of machines. The owners do not even turn their heads. Logically, from dusk till dawn at the mercy of Kirkuk gunmen. It took 5 minutes — shooting subsided. We go out into the living room. Year-old daughter of Goran sitting on the floor, playing … shop from a Kalashnikov — the toy which is popular in Iraq.

… Almost 8 years ago, the U.S. Army captured Baghdad. In Washington and at the moment they say, "We have brought freedom to Iraq." But Iraqis do not feel it. As their lives turned into a real hell …

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