By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Monday, 11 February 2008
To show that Iraq was safe enough for the two million Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan to return, the Iraqi government organised a bus convoy last November from Damascus to Baghdad carrying 800 Iraqis home for free.
As a propaganda exercise designed to show that the Iraqi government was restoring peace, it never quite worked. The majority of the returnees said they were returning to Baghdad, not because it was safer, but because they had run out of money in Syria or their visas had expired.