From Rolling Stone issue 925, June 2003:
The Marines in Iraq reach the bridge over the Euphrates river.
"It is a long, broad concrete structure...the front of the city is a jumble of irregularly shaped two- and three-story structures. Through the haze, the buildings appear as a series of dim, slanted outlines, like a row of crooked tombstones.
"Nasiriyah is the gateway to the ancient Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent lying between the Euphrates, just above us, and the Tigris, a hundred kilometers north. This land has been continuously inhabited for 5,000 years. It was here that humankind first invented the wheel, the written word, and algebra. Scholars believe that Mesopotamia was the site of the Garden of Eden. After three days in the desert, the Marines are amazed to find themselves in this pocket of tropical vegitation. There are lush groves of palm trees all around, as well as fields where tall grasses are growing. As Marine artillery rounds explode around us, Colbert keeps repeating, 'Look at these fucking trees.' "
Fighting in beautiful Cradle of Civilization. Why?