Improvized Christmas Tree in Iraq.

This week's Cellar / Neatorama Image of the Week is this crazy looking Christmas tree in Irbil, Iraq. No wonder Iraqis improvize something for a Christmas tree ... turns out, selling Christmas trees is one of the most dangerous jobs in Baghdad:

Nouri Dawoud has one of the most dangerous jobs in Baghdad. He sells Christmas trees.

For seven hours a day, he stands on the same street corner in a neighborhood where drive-by shootings and snipers are not uncommon. He caters to Christians, among the most targeted people. On a good day, he attracts a crowd, a draw for suicide bombers. ...

On Monday, one week before Christmas, Dawoud was the only tree vendor on his street, which in the past had become "Christmas tree row" in early December. His colleagues, he said, were too afraid to join him.

"They said, 'You go check it out first. You're an old man,' " he said.

With a black-checkered kaffiyeh wrapped around his head, he placed five tall, anemic-looking trees against a wall and waited for people to show up. Few did. With his one good eye, he scanned every car. He called his presence a "fidai" — a suicide mission — and broke into a hearty laugh.

Check out the story: Link, Pic from the always awesome Cellar IoTD: Link

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Military Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9/11 Toll

The milestone in Iraq came on Christmas, nearly four years after the war began, according to a count by The Associated Press.

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So, let me get this straight. Under Saddam, these guys had no problems selling Christmas trees and now they have to put their life on the line to sell them?

Nice war, Bush.
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