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Inside Baghdad: Democracy Now! Correspondent Jeremy Scahill Reports On What Iraqis Fear

StoryMarch 21, 2003
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We are joined by Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill who has just returned from Baghdad. He has a written a cover story titled "Inside Baghdad" for the new issue of The Nation. It begins:

“There’s an old Arab saying that Iraqis like to quote when talking about another US war against their country: "The wet man is not afraid of the rain."

With talk of war dominating every conversation in the days just prior to the US decision to move ahead with invasion plans despite a lack of sanction, men told stories of their time in the Iraqi Army during the first Gulf War, against Iran. "I went there almost unable to grow a beard and I came back with a head of gray hair," said Ahmed, who spent seven years on the frontlines of the bloody eight-year war between Baghdad and Teheran. (As with all the ordinary Iraqis quoted in this piece, his name has been changed.) Almost every Iraqi household lost someone in the war. They had only two years to struggle for a return to any semblance of a normal life when Iraq invaded Kuwait, sparking the second Gulf War, which took the lives of more than 200,000 Iraqis. The rest, as one Iraqi put it, was "our well-known destiny."

"I know war too much. With wars I am like Sylvester Stallone, like Rocky. We had too many sequels. We don’t need another," said Mohammed, whose days are now consumed by sleep and his nights by listening to shortwave radio.

  • Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent.

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