Tense Tikrit

JUST INSIDE TIKRIT, Iraq — We’ve stopped, about 6.5 km outside the city center. In front of us, about a kilometer up, is a group of Arabs who have been shooting at people. They’re worried about Kurdish looters. Surrounding us are a mass of press SUVs. Someone has sent an Arab cameraman up to negotiate passage through. So now we’re waiting

JUST INSIDE TIKRIT, Iraq — We’ve stopped, about 6.5 km outside the city center. In front of us, about a kilometer up, is a group of Arabs who have been shooting at people. They’re worried about Kurdish looters. Surrounding us are a mass of press SUVs. Someone has sent an Arab cameraman up to negotiate passage through. So now we’re waiting.
I lost J. earlier today. He took off with Freydoon to the Syrian river crossing to head back home to America. He’s been a good friend and his inveterate optimism has been a welcome tonic to my usual cynicism. His military training also came in handy. He truly believes in the United States as a force for Good in the world, and who am I to criticize him for that? I wish him well…