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Jeff Werner

Designer in Vancouver, Canada. Secretary of the 221A Artist Run Centre, member of Fieldwork design collective, and former exhibit designer at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduate of Emily Carr and University of Victoria, and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Cycling advocate and race on the Garneau Evolution team.

Gallery, October 14, 2003 12:41 AM 6 comments

Guarding the hotel

US Soldiers guard the Palestine Hotel, Baghdad, Iraq.

Four US soldiers pose for camera

Crawling with soldiers, media and Iraqi Police, I visited the two premiere hotels in downtown Baghdad, the Sheraton and this one, the Palestine. After a routine security check and frisking, I strolled around the inner drives of the two facing hotels, protected from outside traffic (and hopefully suicide bombers) by 3-metre-high concrete barrieres, razor wire, tanks, humvees and soldiers with guns.

Although not permitted to photograph US Army vehicle and tank positions within the make-shift compound, I managed to chat up and photograph a number of soldiers. Many were 18-19 years old, from every area of the US, on their first tour of duty and didn't have much of an idea about what they were doing there, other than to stand around and guard the hotels.

6 comments on Guarding the hotel

1. giggler | December 13, 2004 8:43 AM

"Many were 18-19 years old, from every area of the US, on their first tour of duty and didnít have much of an idea about what they were doing there, other than to stand around and guard the hotels."

No, they're just smart enough to tell you that.

2. sam | June 2, 2005 2:13 PM

hi!!!
you know what???
I LOVE AMERICAN SOLDIERS! thats right! they are fighting but they are fighting for freedom they are all brave. i hope that one day i meet them and shake hands with them!
with best wishes for all american soldiers

3. Anonymous | September 2, 2005 7:50 PM

how'd you manage to get into Iraq as a tourist(?)?

4. Jeff Werner | September 2, 2005 8:03 PM

Back in November of 2003 it was easier to go to Iraq than I thought it would be, hence my visit was spur of the moment: I caught the daily morning bus from Amman, Jordan direct to Baghdad. It was maybe $10 for the 12-hour trip, and the American and Iraqi guards at the border barely gave me or my passport a second glance. Getting out is a whole 'nother story, however.

Might be a bit tougher (and much more dangerous) to get in these days.

5. Anonymous | April 8, 2006 4:26 PM

Now that the Army has taken over the training of the Iraqi police, our policemen that volunteered to go do that will be coming home, Amen
A mother of a policeman !

6. blanko | July 26, 2008 11:33 PM

that guy in the middol i know him!!!!

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