U.S. commanders estimate that up to 30,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the war began. To learn more about how children cope with this ongoing bloodshed, Dozier gave a video camera to a little girl named Heba and asked her to record a day in her life. Heba lives in a cramped apartment in Sadr City and listed a litany of fears: kidnappers, terrorists, and most of all, bombs. "I feel scared when my father goes to work," she said. "Maybe an explosion will happen."
Dozier asked the same of Bashar, who lives in a wealthier neighborhood and has more toys and games to distract him. Even so, he said he feels "like a bird in a house in a small cage." In a casual conversation with his mother, Bashar tells of a friend who was kidnapped for ransom. It's a fear that haunts him all the time. "If I go to the street, I'm scared maybe there is a car beside me and it's going to blow up. I don't know, maybe there is a guy, he wants to kill himself."
Dozier said in the interactions she witnessed between U.S. soldiers and Iraqi children, the troops always made an effort to put the kids at ease, especially during raids. But she points out that terrorists don't discriminate and says the children know that.
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