Several of us are sitting in the hotel room having lunch, watching the news trying to keep up with the violence daily engulfing Iraq. Let me give you a quick rundown from the last 24 hours.
Late last night fighting continued in Sadr City between the Mehdi Army and occupation forces... leaving at least five Iraqis dead, three of them civilians.
This morning the Republican Palace, where Bremer is headquartered, was blasted by a rocket.
Shortly after 9 this morning, a huge blast rocked Baghdad when a car bomb detonated near Camp Cuervo, a US Army Camp in the northern part of the capital. The explosion left 12 Iraqis dead, 4 of whom were policemen.
While we were watching all of this news, small, black helicopters of special operations forces and private security contractors buzzed like flies over central Baghdad and sirens blared randomly from the blazingly hot streets.
As footage of cars with broken glass and bullet holes in their frames flashed across the screen of the television, my friend’s translator, Hamid, an older man who has grown weary of the violence, said softly: “It has begun. These are only the start, and they will not stop. Even after June 30th.”