Sunday, March 02, 2003
A week ago on the way to work I saw a huge column of blackest-black smoke coming from the direction of Dorah refinery which is within Baghdad city limits, thought nothing of it really. A couple of weeks earlier to that a fuel tank near the Rasheed army camp exploded and it looked the same, stuff like that happens. My father was driving thru the area later and he said it looked like they were burning excess or wasted oil.
Eh, they were never the environmentalists to start with; if they didn’t burn it they would have dumped it in the river or something. The smoke was there for three days the column could be seen from all over Baghdad being dragged in a line across the sky by the winds. During the same time and on the same road I take to work I see two HUGE trenches being dug, it looked like they were going to put some sort of machinery in it, wide enough for a truck to drive thru and would easily take three big trucks.
A couple of days after the smoke-show over Baghdad I and my father are going past these trenches and we see oil being dumped into the trenches, you could hear my brain going into action, my father gave me the (shutup-u-nutty-paranoid-freak) look, but I knew it was true. The last two days everybody talks about it, they are planning to make a smoke screen of some sorts using black crude oil, actually rumor has it that they have been experimenting with various fuel mixtures to see what would produce the blackest vilest smoke and the three days of smoke from Dorah was the final test. Around Baghdad they would probably go roughly along the green belt which was conceived to stop the sandstorms coming from the western deserts. I have no idea how a smoke screen can be of any use except make sure that the people in Baghdad die of asphyxiation and covered in soot. I think I will be getting those gas masks after all.
Funfact: after the oil wells in Kuwait were set on fire and the whole region covered in the blackest and ugliest cloud it rained for days on Baghdad washing everything with black water from the sky, the marks took a year to wash out. I think Salman Rushdie would have found this very amusing, characters in his novels are always haunted by things past in the strangest ways, the shame of your actions following you and then washing you with it’s black water, no ablutions for you Mr. H watch your city covered with the shame of your actions. We have an expression which roughly translates to “face covered with soot” (skham wijih) which is used to describe someone who has done something utterly disgraceful. Getting your city covered with “skham” once has to haunt you for the rest of your life, now we get “skham from the sky II–the return of the evil cloud”. The world is just a re-run of bad movies, but Mr. W. Bush already beat me to that expression.