s skippy the bush kangaroo: Life in the war zone

skippy the bush kangaroo



Monday, February 20, 2006

Life in the war zone

Chickenhawks like Jonah Goldberg shriek and bleat that the media doesn't report the good stories happening in Iraq. Perhaps they should go and take Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi's place.

By the end of last year, we had strict security measures in place and reviewed them each time we left the house, whether to conduct an interview or to buy milk. As a rule of thumb, we never stayed anywhere for more than half an hour because any longer would allow time for a kidnapping to be orchestrated.

Drivers made sure our armored car and "chase" car -- which follows the first car as a surveillance vehicle -- were running smoothly. A guard loaded his AK-47 rifle and secured a handgun to his waist. Haqi, our translator and office manager, tested the walkie-talkie radios and placed the first-aid kit in the back seat. I draped myself in a head-to-toe black abbaya covering, the traditional attire of conservative Arab women, and sat in the back.

The goal was to be invisible, to not be noticed as a foreigner when stuck in traffic, behind a red light or whizzing through Baghdad streets. You just never knew who was sitting in the car next to you. Would they pull out a gun? Would they spot the car and chase you down the road? Would they drag you out? Who would sell you out? Would they have mercy on your Iraqi staff?
posted by Carnacki at 7:35 AM |

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