Today is Happy Welcome Back to Fallujah Day. The US military had agreed to let 2,000 "heads of household" into the al-Andalus quarter (one of 18 Fallujah districts) to survey their property before making a decision to come back. Now this al-Andalus quarter is considered to be the area having sustained the least amount of damage in the fighting. So 200 people out of the 250,000 residents in exile show up, an order of magnitude less than expected 2,000, and agree to have the iris scan and the fingerprinting--basically "booked" minus a charge. So they go into town, take a look at their homes and run out of city shreiking. That's right, shreiking in horror not only at the damage to their bombed and looted homes, but at the uncollected bodies of those killed in recent weeks still inside their homes.
The French Reporters' Farewell to Iraq.
A pair of French reporters held prisoner for ransom by the Iraqi Islamic Army for 124 days arrived back home in France yesterday. Before being loaded into the trunk of a Mercedes to the arranged location for release, their captors told them the following:
Listen well. Do not come back to Iraq. This is the land of war. We don't need reporters. We're going to settle the score with the Americans. This country is full of armed men who are out trapping Westerners.