A 2003 essay that foreshadows the emergence of the Islamic State a decade later – an insurgency incited by American policy in Iraq during the early days of the war.
When American and Iraqi soldiers were exposed to leftover chemical munitions from Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran, the Pentagon kept silent.
Published across three consecutive issues and later adapted into the book (and mini-series) Generation Kill, the story of bullets, bombs and a Marine platoon at war in Iraq.
Previously: Evan Wright on the Longform Podcast.
Iraq, ten years later: Sectarian assassins, posing as bodyguards, are baffled by an egg-laying rabbit. Translated by Jonathan Wright.
"The rabbit had been with us for a month and I had already spent two months with Salsal in this fancy villa in the north of the Green Zone. The villa was detached, surrounded by a high wall and with a gate fitted with a sophisticated electronic security system. We didn’t know when zero hour would come. Salsal was a professional, whereas they called me duckling because this was my first operation."
On working in a war zone to pay the bills.
On Jack Idema, a con-man who once ran a pet hotel before reinventing himself as a black-ops secret agent in Afghanistan, and the history of counterinsurgency theory.
As U.S. troops departed, Baghdad in ruins.Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. While on assignment for the New York Times, Anthony Shadid died today in Syria.
The first five years of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s tenure have been marked by a dangerous consolidation of power.
According to political allies and Western diplomats who have worked with Maliki, he isn't so much power-hungry as deeply cynical and mistrusting. The Dawa Party, which Maliki joined as a young man, was hunted by Saddam's Baathist regime. Even those living in exile -- like Maliki, who lived in Syria and Iran for more than 20 years -- organized themselves into isolated cells to protect against the regime's spies and limit the information that any one member might divulge if he were captured or compromised. Maliki's early career was saturated in perpetual suspicion.
On the investors betting big on the Iraqi economy, which they believe has nowhere to go but up.
How an Iraqi expat conned the United States, without ever once being interviewed by an American official, into making the case that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. “Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq.”