Dispatches on the American Occupation
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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In February 2003 I left the University of Michigan to spend my ‹nal semester at the American University of Beirut. I went to Beirut for various reasons, including a desire to locate distant relations (my maternal grandparents are first-generation Lebanese immigrants). I also....
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These people, in no particular order, helped me maintain my sanity (and safety) as I lived and wrote this book. Shukran. Mom, Dad, Therese, Stephen, Uncle Larry, Alaa Kamel, Ralph Hassall, Mark Gordon-James, Kathleen McCaul, Catherine Arnold, Seb Walker, Kareem Omer, Rosie Garthwaite, James Brandon, Ali Hamid...
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BAGHDAD—A country devastated by war and occupied by U.S. and British troops may seem the least promising place to open an English- language paper, but as the first edition of the Baghdad Bulletin hit the streets Monday its owner-editors were confident of success. The bi-monthly news...
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The sun is coming up over the desert, bouncing light off the cars lined up at the border. We’re near the head of the line. Our driver knew the shortcut through Jordan, and we spent last night flying through the desert on a rolling road past the American bases that King Abdullah...
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The night before the first issue of the Bulletin is set to print, Mark, Ralph, and I break down. The last month has been the most absurd of my life. The day after Jerry and I came into Baghdad, Mark and Ralph followed, driving the car that Ralph and I had bought...
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Sitting in the lounge of Baghdad’s Palestine hotel last week, in the company of six veteran war correspondents, the 24-year-old novice reporter Richard Wild was understandably overawed. “He seemed quite quiet,” recalls Jason...
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Despite reassuring platitudes delivered with the studied certainty of the professional spin doctor, nobody believes the Coalition Provisional Authority’s claims that the security situation is getting better; least of all the U.N. U.N. security in...
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The people who have walked for three days from Baghdad to Najaf for Ayatollah Mohamed Bakr Al-Hakim’s funeral are finally arriving. The procession numbers in the tens of thousands. The ayatollah was blown up by a massive car bomb while leaving Friday prayers here...
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This is it. Last night in Grand Rapids before I go back. I hate good-byes. I went to a party a few nights ago and ended up in front of the house with a girl I knew from high school and a Vietnam vet. He talked about his war, about the killings he saw, about My Lai and the others...
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Today is Jesus Suarez’s son Eric’s second birthday. Eric’s grandfather Fernando Suarez del Solar will mark the day by visiting the place where Jesus, a U.S. marine, was killed on March 27 after stepping on a modified bomb, an American DPICM (Dual Purpose Improved Conventional...
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It’s three A.M., and Paola and I have been working late, finishing a translation of her report on the claims system. But to prove how safe this place has become, I decide to make the tenminute walk home on my own. Rory and I have been staying out late just because we hate having...
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I’ve spent the last couple months in Washington, D.C., trying to take a break from the war zone by freelancing on Capitol Hill. I told my parents I was looking for jobs stateside, but eventually I picked up a couple of freelance assignments in Iraq and got an offer to finish this book. I guess...
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I’ve decided to make my ‹rst trip out of Baghdad since returning to Iraq. While waiting at the checkpoint into the city, we met a family who had left during the ‹ghting three weeks ago. They’ve agreed to allow us to follow them to their house. We were duly invited for tea, then lunch...
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I’ve come downstairs to make a grocery run this morning and found Dahr in the lobby doing yet another interview on torture. The subject is a middle-aged woman from Baquba who claims to have witnessed some of the worst abuse, including rape. The woman has brought...
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For most of the week we’ve been waiting to hear what happened to Tarek, a crazy Canadian-born Palestinian med-student acquaintance who came out here to work in a hospital. When fighting broke out in Faluja on the morning of June 24, Tarek was on a bus from Baghdad...
Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2009