I went to the bomb site last night. I wrote a piece which I have submitted to NRO, so with any luck it will be up later this morning. I had heard that the crowds were restless toward the U.S. over the bombing, so before I left I put on the heavy body armor. My kevlar vest comes in two pieces. One is a heavy-duty kevlar vest, which is designed to provide protection from small rifle rounds, and virtually all handgun rounds. The second piece consists of two 8 pound ceramic Level IV plates, which are designed to stop armor piercing ammo fired out of an AK-47. This is the kind of body armor that you may have heard about on the news. It was in short supply in Iraq during the early stages of the conflict, but it has saved lives. It is a bit bulky unless you are going into an area with a particular threat, but given the circumstances, I thought that last night qualified.
When I arrived, I saw no evidence of unrest. The people seemed concerned or curious about the salvage effort, much as you would expect if such a tragedy occurred in the United States. I think this is an example of the classic disconnect between the news media and the Iraqi public. I’m sure that there were some people at the scene initially who blamed the U.S. for not providing protection. But this certainly was not the prevailing sentiment. So again, the view of what was probably a fairly small majority got treated like it was the dominant view.