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As Night Comes Steppin' In...

by Daniel Mossberg Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 3:56 PM

I've been sitting here like this in front of my computer for four - five nights staring out into the night, through the news reports, photos and videos into hell.

As Night Comes Steppin' In...

I've been sitting here like this in front of my computer for four - five nights staring out
into the night, through the news reports, photos and videos into hell. War is in so many
aspects the essence of hell. The pictures of dead people enter my body, people that
stare back at me from the distance of the screen. And all of this for what? They
haven't found any long range missiles, no chemical or biological weapons and off course,
no nuclear weapons. They have not found or killed Saddam Hussein. War is hell and the
fact that it's an illegal, unjustified and idiotic war just makes the whole thing seem like
an even greater tragedy. Why do people have to die for the madmens oil and power
wishes? Why? One of the American soldiers captured by the Iraqis last night said in
response to the question: "Why have you come to Iraq?" - "I follow orders." Another
American soldier said: "I was told to come here."

The people killed in Basra, all of the 77 killed according to Iraqi officials, they don't ask
or answer any questions any moore. They are gone. They are dead. And for what? And
what words should one use? Were they - Killed? Massacred? Collaterally damaged? And
what kind of use of words is - Friendly Fire? To those British journalists missing,
wounded, killed outside of Basra, the fire sure as hell weren't friendly. I haven't seen
this many pictures of dead, bloody, wounded, burnt people for years. My fear is that it
will only get worse from here, as the fighting reaches the outskirts of Baghdad.

So what are we to do? We've continued protest and demonstrate. There were huge
demonstrations in London (500 000 - 750 000), New York (300 000 - 400 000) and San
Francisco (75 000). In Norway they had the biggest ever demonstration. I think all of
this is putting pressure on the military planners and politicians not to harm civilians. In
that aspect the demonstrations makes all the difference. Despite that fact, the war
rages on, but I sincerely believe and hope that in protesting one can in some sense hold
on to some kind of sanity and remain human in the midst of all the madness and killing.

Thursday night before the first bomb wave for that evening rolled in, the BBC were
broadcasting live pictures from Baghdad. Cruise missiles were expected any minute.
There was basically no traffic and the streets were almost quiet, except for one very
distinct sound. Sitting there in front of the TV I heard birds singing from Baghdad and
they sounded just like any birds one hears when spring has come. They were singing
even at night, in joy. Seconds later missiles came crashing in and the birds were
silenced, only the sounds of explosions were heard. I wonder what the birds were
feeling? And the people in Baghdad? I don't know what they're feeling, but I know one
thing, as tears are filling my eyes, I'll be here tommorrow, as night comes steppin' in...

[To get the full story with pictures and all go to - As Night Comes Steppin' In...]

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