Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

Sandbags And Gladrags

Jo Wilding's latest dispatch from the Iraqi capital

13th March 2003

Small sandbag dens, like a child might make, are sprouting out of the pavements, by way of some protection against shrapnel and flying debris: it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp bit of metal, so to speak, but it's not much. They're on street corners and in front of some buildings and some people and shops have a little wall of them outside. People have taped "X"s on their windows to prevent them shattering.

Sandbags. Sandbags and sticky tape against Stealth Bombers, Cruise Missiles, MOABs, uranium Bunker Busters and all the other cutely named murderous hardware the US-UK have piled on the doorstep. Sandbags, all there is to shield soft human bodies from burning metal and explosives.

Meanwhile, yesterday the bulk of the remaining UN and embassy staff left Iraq. What is the point of the UN? Why does it exist if not to prevent war, and why prevent war if not to protect civilians? There have been plenty of weapons inspectors here over recent weeks but there is, as yet, no sign of a team of investigators or observers from the International Court of Justice.

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