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Guest Thinkers

A Fearful & Uncertain Baghdad

Iraq finally has a new government after months of deadlock, but the cynical horsetrading has damaged the image of politics. Residents of Baghdad no longer trust their fellow citizens.

Baghdad is still a city in a state of emergency. The first street-sweeping vehicle only recently came into service. The roads are still littered with the burned-out remains of wrecked cars, and every 160 feet or so there are heavily armed guards sitting on old office chairs, in tanks or under makeshift shelters. In the wealthy district of Mansur, the ruins of a car bomb are being cleared up. A few blocks further on, a man is polishing the windows of the new Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler showroom. While the exodus from the Christian quarters continues unabated, sidewalks are piled high with cardboard boxes that once contained fridges, cooling fans, boilers and flatscreen TVs.


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