It's been usual for foreigners (diplomats, workers, journalists... etc) in Iraq to take lots of security precautions when they move around in Baghdad or some other Iraqi cities; they try to hide anything that might reveal their identities and I even noticed that they began to choose ordinary cars-from the kinds that many Iraqis own instead of fancy new cars- for use in their rides to avoid attracting attention.
This is of course as a result of the kidnappings and various attacks that targeted foreigners in Iraq regardless of the nature of their presence here. This created the feeling that every foreigner walking on the streets is an easy target for direct gunfire or for kidnapping (for money or to be beheaded later). This even included Arabs and Arab firms and even Iraqis working in Arab firms. In short, anyone who is here to do something that might be good for Iraq.
One group of foreigners really caught my attention by ignoring all the dangers and moving in the streets of Baghdad showing their identity so clearly.
One might think that this group of people did so because they are very bold but actually I don't think this is true for this case. Why? Because simply they were French.
Yesterday, I saw a single car with the words "FRENCH EMBASSY" written in Arabic on the windshield moving in Karrada crowded neighborhood in broad daylight. They didn't seem to be in a hurry and were driving slowly unlike other foreigners who try to drive as fast as possible to avoid being tracked and chased.
It seems that the French are not afraid of the terrorists. Were they excluded from the terrorists' targets list for some reason? Is there a peace truce between them? Did we miss something here? Because the French are moving freely and saying for the terrorists:
"Hey, it's us, so don't mistake us for your enemies, the other foreigners! And we are not just ordinary French. We are the French government! And we are certainly not doing something good for Iraq, so relax!"
This may explain why no one is anymore worried about the two French journalists; they're in friendly hands!
(Shookhran to Gregory)