Fahrenheit 113

This is no movie. This is Baghdad the reality show.

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Defense Dept.

A car bombing in Baghdad, some time or other. Who's counting?

Let's say you're one of Baghdead's still-living 6 million residents. That doesn't make you lucky.

If you haven't been blown up yet, here's what you face, according to the Iraqi capital daily Al-Mashriq:

It's 45 degrees Celsius. That's 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Power is out for 20 hours a day. That's right. It's one hour on and six hours off, one hours on and six hours off, and so on.

Got your own power generator? Great, but you need fuel, and the lines at filling stations can be hours long. So you go to a roadside seller, who charges you 25 times the normal price.

At least you've got water, right? Last month, 2 million of you didn't have water for nearly a week.

What they call "AC machines" in Baghdad aren't. They're swamp coolers—non-refrigerated air coolers that work well in the desert, as long as the humidity is low. But they need both electricity and water to operate. Good luck having both at the same time.

Hey, I lived in Phoenix—similar in climate to Baghdad—for 13 years, and I love the desert. But we had electricity to run our swamp coolers.

Arizona's a crazy place—we had Ev Mecham in the '80s. (Oh, would bloggers have gone nuts with him!) But we didn't have drive bombers. If we had, they would have blown up Mecham.


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