Places that were dear to residents and that survived years of wars and sanctions under Saddam have been wiped away in recent months in a campaign one local newspaper said recently was stripping the city of its soul.
Last week, a bomb wrecked a bridge over the Tigris, which was also once a popular swimming spot for Baghdad's children.
Saad Abdul-Kareem al-Samarraie, a retired military officer, had been going to the book market at Mutanabi Street in old Baghdad every Friday for more than 50 years before a car bomb pulverised its narrow alleys and old cafes earlier this year.
Samarraie said the bombing of Mutanabi, once the centre of Baghdad's rich intellectual life, was a big personal blow.
"I had gone to Mutanabi to buy books since I was a high- school student," said Samarraie, 70, standing in front of rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves holding more than 3,000 books in his home.
"With the bombing of Mutanabi a vital part of Iraq's history disappeared in seconds," he said.
Najeeb, who would only give his first name, said his favorite corner in Baghdad was the animal market in central Shorja market, which has been bombed several times.
The market featured an array of strange creatures, including monkeys and parrots smuggled from tropical countries by sailors and eagles and snakes brought from the desert by the Bedouins.
"I'm the youngest of seven brothers and they wouldn't let me go alone because there were large crowds and they were afraid I would get lost," said Najeeb, 35.
He works as a translator for the U.S. military and has to cover his face with a ski-mask when he goes on patrol past what is left of the market for fear of retaliation.
"My favorite stall was the one run by the Bedouins. There was a medicine man would come and buy the scorpions from them and use the venom for his potions," he said.
One employee working for Reuters remembers most the swimming pool in Zawra Park, where he and his two brothers learned how to swim.
His father would take children from the neighborhood in the family car and go to Zawra, where they would play until dark.
"My father taught me how to swim at Zawra. I must have been 9-years old. I don't go to Zawra anymore. I don't find rest there," said the employee, declining to give his name.
"That Baghdad has disappeared. I once had a photograph of those days at the pool but I lost it."
If that is "Progress" I would hate to see what Peace looks like to Shrub & Co.!
Now check this BULLSHIT OUT............
Dear Miss Gutierrez:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation in Iraq. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.I am grateful for the service and sacrifice being made by our soldiers and their families. Even though Saddam Hussein has been brought to justice and his criminal regime removed from power, Iraq is still a struggling democracy in need of economic, political, and military support.Our Armed Forces continue to work alongside Iraqi forces to overcome sectarian violence and defeat the brutal insurgency targeting innocent Iraqis. I recognize that success requires course corrections over time. However, I believe setting an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal of our forces would embolden the enemy and jeopardize all the progress made in Iraq. It is critical that we do not allow Iraq to become the new safe haven for terrorists who seek to harm America. A stabilized Iraq will contribute greatly to regional security and, most importantly, will make America safer as well. Success in Iraq requires difficult work but will be a major victory in the War on Terrorism. Millions of Iraqi citizens have participated in their nation's first democratically elected constitutional government. They deserved the opportunity to determine their own destiny, and America has provided it for them. Now it is up to the Iraqis to navigate through their differences in order to usher in a bright future for their country, and America must be there to assist them in this process. This is a critical time, and we must remain strong as a nation, have patience and faith as a people, and believe in the work and progress our military members have accomplished. You may be certain I will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep your views in mind.I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
I received this after signing a petition to end the war! These STUPID FUCKERS have their heads sooo far up their ass they have no clue as to what is actually going on in Iraq! Now more than ever we need to make our voices heard before these "DICTATORS" totally destroy not just Iraq but America as well. ITMFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!