June 10, 2004

what makes a lion look puny?


I just went and saw Uday's main Palace today. It's over by the Tigris, at the edge of the Green Zone ... and it's where his lions are.

They were mostly in the shade and out of site but one of them was sitting out for us to admire. There were some carcasses of antelope or something in the cage with them, so they're definitely eating. I hear that most places are afraid to take them since they have a taste for human flesh (people who displeased Uday, and the odd Russian hooker, are reported to have been routinely used as cat food).

But that's not the "wow" part. We also got to walk through his palace -- or what's left of it. It was hit so amazingly hard. I've got some incredible pictures I'll post of things like:
1) the hole in the roof the missile came through
2) the blown out section of the first and second floor that the missle blew up
3) the charred remains of two rooms in every direction.
here's one: knock knock

Whatever they dropped on there wasn't just supposed to go boom, it was supposed to burn out the whole place (and kill everyone inside). Too bad he wasn't home. There isn't a scratch on the grounds outside the building but the building itself took at least a few direct hits and is totaled.

Talk about precision: "I'd like to take out the entire inside of *that* house, quickly, without warning, from my chair on the other side of the world -- could you handle that for me please?"

I'm in awe, it really brings meaning to "projection of power".

Morris, a local who works with us that drove us over there, saw Uday's palace for the first time. In fact, most Iraqis that are here have never been allowed into what is now the Green Zone before. Morris was upset that all this wealth was concentrated in one place while the rest of the country struggled, he was also upset that we blew it all to crap. I pointed out that the palace itself, and the junk in it, was nothing compared to all the money hoarded elsewhere. In any case, he had a great time running around and taking pictures next to all the tacky statues and stuff.

I still need to finish my post on the locals and what they think of all of this, but it's bedtime now.

Posted by rick at June 10, 2004 02:22 PM