Greetings all. It’s been a while. I wanted to take a small post and update you all on what’s happening here.
As many of you know, for the past few months, I’ve been at Stanford as a Knight Fellow, researching foreign news and online content. This fellowship ends in June. I have decided to depart the Middle East then and head for Pakistan, where I will be working on a new blog project, InsurgencyWatch. You can read more about the idea behind the new site here. You can also catch its latest posts via the RSS feed to the right.
Back to Iraq will continue to exist, but mainly as an archive and republishing site for the new content on InsurgencyWatch. I hope you’ll all join me over at the new site, and we can make interesting things happen again in the field of foreign correspondence.
Is this a first? The latest from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (big pdf) gives a casualty number of almost 100,000 Iraqi civilians to date, which may be the first time a U.S. government body has released this information.
You can read the entire report, “Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience” (and order a printed copy) [here](http://www.sigir.mil/hardlessons/default.aspx).
So, Inauguration Day. It’s here and I still can’t quite believe it. Eight years of arguably the worst presidency in the history of the country are over and a new one begins with President Barack Obama. Like many Americans I am hopeful, anxious, enthusiastic and ready to move on. But I can’t help feeling a bit nostalgic for President George W. Bush.
I mean, he provided me and my colleagues in the war covering business with lots of work. I mean, *a lot of work*. I made a career covering Bush’s catastrophes across the Middle East, and that wasn’t the only region he royally screwed up. THese include Afghanistan/Pakistan, Russia, the Caucuses and — lest we forget — New Orleans right close to home. Any one of these would be a blight on a presidency and a boon for journalistic careers, but damn.
Anyway, welcome to the Big Game, President Obama. Time to get to work.