Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail on Living in Two Worlds

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

Tomgram: Dahr Jamail on Living in Two Worlds

Dahr Jamail, an independent reporter from Alaska, covered our occupation
of Iraq for much of 2004 and the beginning of 2005 before coming home
early this year. As a "unilateral," he was a distinctly atypical figure
in Baghdad. Unlike reporters for major papers, wire services, and the TV
news, he lacked the guards, vehicles, elaborate home base, tech support,
fixers, and all the other appurtenances of an American journalist in the
ever more dangerous Iraqi capital, a city now so filled with violence
and explosions that the young blogger Riverbend
recently wrote: "It is almost as if Baghdad has turned into a giant
graveyard." Unlike most American reporters, however, Jamail (gambling
his life) refused to let himself be trapped in his hotel and so his
reporting was of the (rare) outside-the-Green-Zone variety. With his
Iraqi translator and friend, he regularly interviewed ordinary Iraqis
rather than officials of various sorts.

Like many war veterans -- military or journalistic -- Jamail, who wrote
on occupied Iraq for Tomdispatch
<> while there, found the
experience of coming home unsettling indeed. He recently returned to the
Middle East and, as he was departing, wrote the following on his
experiences in "the Homeland." Tom

Coming Home
An Iraq Correspondent Living in Two Worlds
By Dahr Jamail

It isn't an accident that, after 11 weeks, only as I'm leaving again, do
I find myself able to write about what it was like to come home -- back
to the United States after my latest several month stint in Iraq. Only
now, with the U.S. growing ever smaller in my rearview mirror, with the
strange distance that closeness to Iraq brings, do I find the needed
space in which the words begin to flow.

For these last three months, I've been bound up inside, living two lives
-- my body walking the streets of my home country; my heart and mind so
often still wandering war-ravaged Iraq.

Even now, on a train from Philadelphia to New York on my way to catch a
plane overseas, my urge is to call Iraq; to call, to be exact, my
interpreter and friend, Abu Talat in Baghdad. The papers this morning
reported at least four car bombs detonating in the capital; so, to say I
was concerned for him would be something of an understatement.

The connection wasn't perfect. But when he heard my voice, still so far
away, he shouted with his usual mirth, "How are you my friend?" I might
as well be in another universe -- the faultless irreconcilability of my
world and his; everything, in fact, tied into this phone call, this
friendship, our backgrounds… across these thousands of miles.



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