"Why are you taking photos? For Bush?" one of them yells, waving his arms. "Tell him to go to hell."

When Paul McGeogh is disturbed enough to forget to take a pro-US line, you know it must be bad. Be warned, some of the descriptions are quite graphic:

Kindi’s 12 operating theatres are in use around the clock. A haggard and tearful Dr Tarib Al Saddi stands outside the hospital, trying to have a break, hoping to compose himself as the wind whips at his soiled white coat.

“I have done 12 operations today – crushings, fractures and amputations. You see that these Americans are hitting civilians – their homes, their streets, their cars and even those who walk about. They hit anyone. One of the ambulance drivers says they have struck Al Yarmuk Hospital, so now we worry about a strike here.”

Lips quivering and cheeks stained by his own tears, Dr Al Saddi goes on: “Everyone is anxious and angry, maybe I’m the only calm one here.”

He locks onto a disconsolate woman in black, slumped against a wall. He makes me look at her beautiful face, into her tragic eyes, and says: “She was driving in the car with her 23-year-old son. They put a bullet in the head because he failed to stop at an American check-point.”

The woman cuts in: “He was innocent. We were on our way home. Why do the Americans do this? God forgive them!”

Dr Al Saadi asks: “How can anyone who comes to liberate a country do this – lacerate and destroy our people? Do they really think that somehow after a few days this woman will love them?”

There is little talk of Saddam Hussein here.

Hazem Mohammed Jabeel, 37, feels the need to prompt his wounded seven-year-old son, Ayman, to give reporters a V-for-victory sign. And despite the fact that his wounded foot will be keeping him here for some time, Haroot Manouk, a 32-year-old fighter, wants to soldier on: “We’ll show them, you’ll see, all of you will see.”

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