you better not mess with me, we have big men with guns in our front yard

Things are worse than yesterday. My father’s security people asked us all not to leave the house today without telling them. Everybody is a bit freaked out after the announcement from Zarqawi yesterday that Allawi and his government are going to be his next targets.As if we were going anywhere; my poor mom can’t even look after her own garden with so many strangers in our house with big guns. My brother was told that it is not safe for him to go to work because the place where he works used to be where my father did his business from and that is an easy target so he set office at home; he put on his suit sat cross legged on his bed and dialed the ISP- instant office. The security people were acting so funny they even sent someone in my brother’s car to the office and made the poor guy stay the whole day there, my ersatz brother spent the whole day sleeping at the office while the real one sat in his suit on his bed.By 10:30am I was too bored already to stay at home the whole day and told the big boys with guns at the door that I am going for a walk around the block and took the first taxi to the city center. Down to the Looters market. I tried to find that new video al-zarqawi allegedly has just released, [Winds of Victory]. I go there regularly, beside being a market for stolen goods it is where you find all the bootleg DVDs. Usually the best selling ones get something like MTVs power rotation; the various stalls put on show their hottest goods. So it might happen that one stall has hardcore porn on full blast while the one beside it would be showing al-Sadir’s latest religious sermon and nobody finds that hilarious. A month ago most of the stalls had home video type footage of the Falluja battles and various attacks on American troops and there is a very popular singer called Sabah al-Janabi who sings anti American songs who seems to have constant creative diarrhea; in a period of 5 months he released more than 6 CDs – very popular. So I went expecting to find al-Zarqawis video but it seems that it is still so new it has not yet reached the major distributors at the Looters Market.Lots of belly dancing videos instead. The streets were relatively empty since the two huge neighborhoods Sadir City and Shula were practically cut off the rest of the city. Battles since the early morning. This time the mortars did hit the ministry of oil and everybody panicked. One of the things that did not get mentioned in the news is the attack on the minister of oil’s convoy. The last car in his convoy got cut off from the rest by a big bus, then two BMWs closed in on the car the minister’s guards were made to give up their weapons, take off all their clothes and made to walk stark naked to the ministry. Almost a scene out of Naked Gun. We don’t expect things to get better soon, not with Moqtada al-Sadir announcing that he will keep up the fight until the last drop of his blood. That statement is only going to get things worse. The Iraqi government retaliated by announcing a curfew on Sadir City between 4pm and 8am which really will not help. 4 is too early and 8 is too late, if you want people to obey you have to be reasonable. Anyway we expect things to get worse. A small little salam in me wants to be in Najaf watching what is happening and maybe filming but the rest of me is actually too terrified to go anywhere close to the troublesome neighborhoods and cities.

What a fucking mess this place has become.

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