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I Didn’t Want To See It

excerpts from a report by Riverbend. November 17, 2005

It sat on my PC desktop for five days.

The first day I read about it on the internet, on some site, my heart sank. White phosphorous in Falloojeh. I knew nothing about white phosphorous, of course, and a part of me didn’t want to know the details. I tried downloading the film four times and was almost relieved when I got disconnected all four times.

E. had heard about the film too and one of his friends S. finally brought it by on CD. He and E. shut themselves up in the room with the computer to watch the brief documentary. E. came out half an hour later looking pale, his lips tightened in a straight line, which is the way he looks when he’s pensive... thinking about something he'd rather not discuss.

“Hey -- I want to see it too…” I half-heartedly called out after him, as he walked S. to the door.

“It’s on the desktop. But you really don’t want to see it.” E. said.

I avoided the computer for five days because every time I switched it on, the file would catch my eye and call out to me… now plaintively -- begging to be watched, now angrily -- condemning my indifference.

Except that it was never indifference. It was a sort of dread that sat deep in my stomach, making me feel like I had swallowed a dozen small stones. I didn’t want to see it because I knew it contained the images of the dead civilians I had in my head.

You have been reading excerpts from "Conventional Terror..." by Riverbend. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/76cma. Many thanks to Riverbend. We visit Baghdad Burning at riverbendblog.blogspot.com often and we hope you will too.

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