Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bad For Your Health

Graffiti on a concrete blast wall. Concertina wire casts a shadow above.

I was walking with a cameraman and a producer the other day to a meeting that they had with the U.S. military inside the Green Zone. Cars can only get so close to the meeting building so you have to walk the final 500 meters through several check points.

During the walk both of the media guys took the opportunity to light cigarettes, knowing that they wouldn’t be allowed to smoke inside the building that we were going to. As we strode onward I was contemplating asking them why they felt compelled to smoke, and reminding them that it would eventually kill them one day. At that moment I felt the weight of the ballistic vest hidden under my shirt, and looked around at blast walls, armed guards manning the check points, and the “duck and cover” bunkers along the sidewalk in case mortars start coming in. OK, maybe I shouldn’t say anything at this particular moment.

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