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Humvee windows divide two starkly different worlds

BAGHDAD, Iraq—Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood is divided into two worlds: the one Iraqis live in and the one U.S. soldiers drive through.

The people in both understand the dangers of interacting with each other. Iraqis seen talking with Americans could be killed by their neighbors. Soldiers must regard all Iraqis as potential armed enemies.

The soldiers with the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, Apache Company 1-12 Cavalry from Fort Hood, Texas, make daily patrols through the al Tamar and al Oubaidy sections of Sadr City. Everyday scenes are framed by the bulletproof windows of their armored Humvee—from men gathered in front of posters of Muqtada al Sadr, the radical cleric who's led a bloody resistance to the Americans in Iraq, to the gentle sight of his-and-hers comforters hanging on a line to dry.

As the soldiers pass, the Iraqis signal their feelings in an instant, from disgust to excitement, from curiosity to indifference. The only constants on this tour are the walls, steel and glass that separate the two worlds.


(c) 2004, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

PHOTOS (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): humveeview


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