Friday, April 13, 2007

Yesterday's Green Zone bombing: A brilliant flash of orange light like a starburst

You've heard, of course, about the bombing at the Iraqi Parliament inside the nearly-safe Green Zone. But have you read a firsthand account?

From Sudarsan Raghavan, inside the Green Zone, and writing a first-person account in the Washington Post:

The bomber blew himself up no more than a few yards away. First, a brilliant flash of orange light like a starburst, then a giant popping sound. A gust of debris, flesh and blood threw me from my chair as if I were made of cardboard.

I was lying on a bed of shattered glass on the floor of the cafeteria in the Iraqi parliament building, covered with ashes and dust. Small pieces of flesh clung to my bluejeans. Blood, someone else's, speckled the left lens of my silver-rimmed glasses. Blood, mine, oozed from my left hand, punctured by a tiny shard of glass.

"Are you okay? Are you okay?" asked Saad al-Izzi, one of The Post's Iraqi correspondents, standing over me, his face framed by an eerie yellowish glow, his voice distant. I did not reply.

I had always thought about this moment. In Iraq, every journalist does. But I did not expect a bomber to take lives inside the Green Zone, the nerve center of the Iraqi government and its backer, the United States. To enter, you must pass heavily armed U.S. soldiers, Peruvian security contractors, bomb-sniffing dogs, body searches, metal detectors and several identity checks. Once you are inside, there are checkpoints sealed by concrete barriers on nearly every stretch of road. Then, more body searches, metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and identity checks.
Read the whole essay. I know, this is mainstream media. But I haven't found any bloggers who were there. Can you help me out?

The photo with this post is from a posting on the Google Earth Community site.

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