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Totten In Baghdad

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Michael Totten is doing his usual excellent job in reporting from abroad with this dispatch from Baghdad.

Totten is supported by his readers. Send him some help via his online donation button. His snail mail address is also on the site.

And given his summary of the heat, drop by SoldiersAngels and sign up to support one of the troops deployed in Iraq (or Afghanistan or Djibouti etc.) The SoldiersAngeles match up volunteers with deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, and letters and care packages are all that is involved, though many civilians who participate write to tell me how much it means to them. Here’s Totten on the swelter:

You know how it feels when you get into a black car in the afternoon with the windows rolled up in July? It’s an inferno outside, but inside the car it’s even hotter? That’s how Iraq feels in the shade. Sunlight burns like a blowtorch. If you don’t wear a helmet or soft cap the sun will cook your brain. First you get headaches. Then you end up in the hospital.

And here’s Totten on The Green Zone:

After having spent several days Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. I dread going outside because it’s hot, not because I’m afraid I will get hurt.


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