Update on plans
I’m back! And the donation fund is less than $1000 from the magic $10,000 mark for the third expedition to Iraq. And by the time of departure on May 12, that fund should be around $15,000. “Donations”:https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=callbritton%40nyc.rr.com&%0Aitem_name=Reports+from+the+%0AMiddle+East+by+an+independent+journalist are, of course, always welcome.
As for the timing, I’ll be flying to Oslo on May 12, and then on to Amman, Jordan on May 16. I’ll be in Oslo speaking at a journalism convention, and the sponsoring group has graciously agreed to pick up the tab for the air fare. This is all confirmed, thankfully.
As for what I’ll be doing once I hit Jordan, that will be a little more improvisational. The current security situation in Iraq makes getting in to Baghdad almost impossible on a ground route, and staying there might be untenable. I can promise nothing at this point other than that I will assess the situation as best as I can. Several friends of mine have turned back rather than go in. I hope to avoid that.
And as a bit of a teaser, this weekend I interviewed Muhammad Baqr al-Najafi, the West Coast/American representative for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. He was very candid regarding the ayatollah’s thoughts about the current situation, the interim law, Muqtada al-Sadr and the occupation. I’m working on pitching articles based on this interview and hope to have the transcript up in a few days. I think you’ll like it.