- North of Babylon or Hila
I could speculated as to why this grave
But that would be unfair. I can just witness to the fact
that the gravesite exist. I personally saw what appears
to be new small shallow looking graves that were taken
from a mass grave.
The two boys that were watching or assisting
Peter in looking at the graves stated to our driver that
there was 760 graves here without names. I saw about
that many I would guess. It would take a long time to count
to see if that number is accurate. But it must be close,
I am not sure. They boys told the Taxi driver that there
was 2700 with names. These graves are not here. I did not see
that many graves. So as stated to the driver, Peter, and
to me in a very difficult interpretation that we was at a
760 without names.
2700 with name.
What I saw was a lot of graves. I did not see
of bone, or flesh, or anything positive that said 100 percent
that there is a body in the grave. My hearsay story told
to me by Tom Bucci a civil affairs soldiers for the USA is
that they dug the bodies up, took the clothes off the bodies,
placed the body in the graves, and then placed the clothes
on top of the grave so that family members could try to identify
the clothes and claim the body parts. This looks true.
They placed lots of the clothes in torn
The bags were in very bad condition. I do not know why
there were plastic bags. This was an organized burial
done that I seen, but the clothes were in very bad
condition and look to be rotten. In some places it smelled
like the piss or rotten smell of maybe what you be in
a tramp shed area of cows that were waiting to be
milked with layer upon layer of fresh and soiled straw.
When you start to pitch the straw away to haul away
the lower levels of straw you get to weeks or months old
wet straw that is wet softer and sometimes a moldy looking straw.
The clothes smells like this type of straw. The weather
here is extremely dry. No moisture whatsoever.
I did not see blood or obvious blood. It
be hard to tell. I did not want to be disrespectful
to the clothes or the bodies and disrupt the piles
of clothes. Each pile of clothes felt like a person.
It was not just a pile of clothes to me, but a person
that stopped living in these clothes and was placed
here. I was not here to witness the deaths. I only
in the end saw mounds of dry blackish dirt piles
with clothes on top.
Around the perimeter was a moat with water
that smelled like urine. There looked to be lime.
I have no idea what this is, or why they did it this
way. Outside the moat were the curled rows of that
nasty razor blade barbed wire that the army uses.
Not the simple type for cows. The serious type for
used to keep people away from property.
The two boys did not speak any English. Look
they were Muslim because of their long shirt type
clothes. But I do not know the local area customs.
I did not see any prayer beads that would for sure
indicate the Muslim religion. This is only important
because I believe that no Muslim would help a Christian,
and no Christian would help a Muslim person in this
area of the world willingly. The are very racist, or
cruel in their interpretation of people different.
These two boys that watched the site were kind.
But who knows what religion for sure. 95 percent
There were two books for us to register or
Most of the names in the book were written in Arabic.
There was maybe 30 names written in Latin letters.
The majority were USA Marines, and others like the
state department. I was crying and shaken at this
point, and could not, or would not focus on the books.
I saw one name of a Journalist. That said
of the UK. I think it is in the photo of the books.
Peter made a snide remark about me putting my
webpage address Hobotraveler.com on the page.
"Getting a plug for the page."
"Some things are more important then money,"
He knows that I took lots of digital photos and
that I have a webpage where I can place them all.
I explained the families could maybe want to see
the photos or contact me. This is the only way I have
to tell them how.
I was somewhat crying and he stops. I think
for a second stopped being jaded. This place was
serious and sad. Peter did not cry or the driver.
But I am a somewhat lackadaisical Christian
with a lot more faith then not, so I feel that I feel their
souls. Peter is the typical traveler. A good and much
better then most, but proud of saying he is an
atheist. He is not a bad man. He is a good man.
But a normal traveler. I am not normal. I believe
in family, friends, and think the USA does more
good then bad. Basically a solution and not the
problem. While most travelers and Peter include
are full of snide remarks about the USA looking
for the weakness to say the strong are bad.
A lot of that was my opinion, but I feel correct.
Moral dilemma after the fact of visiting this
was is that I am positive that if it rains, or the wind blows
hard these marked and number graves will be just
a flat area with strewn clothes. There was some of
the graves with numbers in Arabic. They would take
a clump of dried dirt and place on the numbered paper
to hold it down. If it rains all this is gone.
So I have been thinking. What is the
One solution was to take my little digital camera
that takes about 126 photos and my computer to the
site. It would take about 5 time of taking photos to
record a picture of all the graves. I would empty
the camera into my computer and repeat till I have
a photo of all the graves. This I could place on
my page as normal and the same as normal.
Just is there would be a lot more then normal.
I am not going to do this. I was going to do
But I do not know. Peter is supportive on this in a
strange way. I think he looks at me and knows I am
serious so would help now, but we are not young
and we are not boys. I am 47 and he is 42.
We are not the young stupid traveler no more.
We are the older seasoned traveler.
We have discussed doing this. Mainly because
of the time and money involved. This would take a day.
Cost about 25 dollars for the taxi. 5 dollars
for the internet time and would in total take me
about 14 hours of labor. This is not fun. We did not
come here to save the world. We came here to see
But in the end both of us agree that no one
I do things I think need to be done, place on the website
like the electrical problem here and some people are
nice. I feel strong about the electrical problem and the
article I wrote about this. I know that if handled wrong
it is guaranteed soldiers will die for that. I write serious
and try to get support. No one does anything and a person
will die for that. These people are dead. They will not
get more dead. It is just people dead and buried.
I can look out my window at a two 5 star
The Palestine and the Sheraton. It is not my job.
I think these thousands of reporters are aAT#holes.
Afraid to leave their rooms while me and Peter and
walk around talking to real people.
I don't know what to do. Not that important.
Just a bunch of dead Iraqi people.
I do feel like tracking down a few of them Human
shields and the save the world tree huggers and
get them over here. Place their faces in these
graves and kick their aAT#$s. Where are you?
Why are you not screaming about this?
Do you only scream at George W. Bush
and Tony Blair? This is a dead person with a family
that has no one to scream for them.
Those tree hugger hate their fathers, their
and their school teachers. They sit around smoking
a joint screaming about how the world is unjust to
them and the little people of the world.
I thought this place would have lots of NGOs,
tree huggers, and hippie chic's. Just a bunch of
good for nothing reporters staying in 5 star hotels,
driving around in Toyota Land Cruisers trying to
be famous and telling lies by interference.
Me an Peter roaming around free as birds
having people give us Tea, and I do not like Tea.
I wish I could say something to get the tree
and the world to care. Even the Iraqi people do not
care, so why should I?
I keep remembering though.
I picked up a plastic bag and said,
"This is one person Peter."
I was holding a my father, your father, and
someone's fathers bag of clothes.
Somewhere over the rainbow there is
a child that wonders where his father is?
It hurts. What if it was my father?
Directions on how to go there? North of Hila and Babylon.
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
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This is the start of where I was taking photos, I do not edit,
rearrange and make life simple. I take photos and post in the order I took