Hard Times for Baghdad Taxi Drivers
Here's a story from UN sources.
Taxi driver Ahmed Khalil Baqir used to station himself outside Baghdad's main morgue, waiting for grieving families who went there to claim their relatives’ dead bodies. "I was totally dependent on them for my living," Baqir, a 44-year-old father of four, said." I never thought about picking up people in the street as I was being hired five to eight times a day by these families. But now it is a waste of time to wait there and these days I wait only for about three hours in the morning and I continue my work picking up passengers in the street.”
Imagine that you are in the year 1958. Instead of Baghdad the city is Algiers. Instead of being herded into supervised villages as historically occured, the 2 million villagers themselves have become French allies. They themselves are helping to hunt down the FLN. A dispirited Ahmed Ben Bella has just released a recording, from his hideout in a cave in Pakistan, begging all Muslims to unite against France due his recent reverses. And to top it off the Algerian taxi drivers are beginning to complain that the killings are so few that almost nobody goes to the morgue any more.
Algeria marked the beginning of the modern period of terrorist warfare. It was a form of warfare that many have called unstoppable. The Battle of Algiers purported to show how hopeless it was to face this faceless enemy. So the question is: why are taxi drivers at the Baghdad morgue cooling their heels?