Baghdad: Secure enough for sin

Nightclubs have reopened, and in many of them, prostitutes troll for clients. Liquor stores, once shut down by fundamentalist militiamen, have proliferated; on one block of busy Saddoun Street, there are more than 10 of them.

Abu Nawas Park, previously deserted for fear of suicide bombers seeking vulnerable crowds, has now become a place for assignations between young people so inclined. It is not that there are hiding places in the park, where trees are pretty sparse; the couples just pretend they cannot be seen, and passers-by go along with the pretense.

It is a long way from Sodom and Gomorrah, but perhaps part way back to the old Baghdad.