On the Road AgainProduced by PDN Online
©2004 Ashley Giilbertson


Karbala, Iraq: During the first 48 hours of a month-long operation code named "Iron Saber," soldiers from the 16th Engineers, 1st A.D. taunt a donkey, which was "captured" when they swept a palm grove for hidden weapons. The soldier motioning towards the animal is mimicking a scene from the film Crocodile Dundee in which Paul Hogan tames a wild ox with a hand movement over its face. The soldier later told the commander of his unit after the photograph appeared in print that he was trying to move the animal to clear a defensive firing line.

The raid took place at an amusement park, and the battle that ensued saw fighters throwing grenades in the vicinity of the pirate ship ride and soldiers stacking captured weapons in front of the Ferris wheel. Others rested peacefully in bumper cars. A militia fighter lay dead with a grenade he never managed to throw next to his motionless hand, as colorful paintings of Minnie and Mickey Mouse smiled down from a nearby wall.

The mission was lauded as a great success.


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Photo ©2004 Ashley Gilbertson