Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Tomorrow I will have been home a week. After having been away since April 9th, everything seems strange to me, even the elevator buttons in my apartment building. I have one more Iraq story to finish up. After finding it so difficult to get news while I was in Baghdad, due to costly Internet connections, I feel as though I'm now inhaling news about Iraq. The unfinished and slow pace of reconstruction seems to me one of the most important stories out there. I can think of little else. But my relieved family and a few of my friends think I'm insane to want to go back. Here's part of an email my fixer sent me after I asked him what was going on. He sent it July 15th, the day I arrived back in New York and one day after yet another US soldier was killed in an RPG attack in the wealthy Mansur neighborhood:

"I think that you know everything that is happening here so you tell me what will happen. The general situation is bad, struggling against the American forces everywhere and threats from Saddam Hussein all the time and the Iraqi people don't know what to do - following the Americans and then be ready for Saddam punishment or by one of his loyal followers, or follow Saddam and be punished (almost killed) by the Americans. We said it before, it is complicated and we are waiting for a solution and until then my regards to you and your husband ..."