More Rain on Iraq: Life in Baghdad's Green Zone


Continuing my litany of posts with links casting jaundiced eyes on Iraq's immediate post-invasion past and post-election future (why today? well, that's just the kind of Saddam-loving jerk I am), here's a preview of William Langewiesche's incredibly sobering and depressing account from the Jan./Feb. Atlantic about what things have been like recently in and around Baghdad. One small snippet from a grim litany (full text not online to nonsubscribers, alas–the paper mag should still be on the stands, cheapskates):

Sadly, as the insurgency grows, trust is fading away. This is one of the most sensitive and dangerous aspects of life for reporters in Baghdad today: nearly every news organization is facing troubles with its Iraqi staff, and to various but increasing degrees is being held in some way hostage, out of fear of the consequences of disagreement or disciplinary action. You don't just go around laying off people in Iraq these days. Indeed, the very air of Baghdad seems thick with suspicions of betrayal. Even within the Green Zone, which is largely self-sufficient, many Americans now automatically distrust any Iraqi employee who has been there for longer than about two months. Why has this person not been assassinated, people wonder–or at least frightened off with a letter? The question is legitimate. Americans have awakened and found that the enemy is closer even than dreamed of before.