Hello all. Today’s the day.
Hello all. Today’s the day. I was going to try to write something really moving and sweping about war and truth, but at the moment, I’m too concerned with getting the damn headband strapped into my ballistics helmet. (“Soldier, this helmet was designed for your head,” as the instruction book helpfully notes.) There are so many loose ends still dangling, and I know I’m going to forget something really important.
But that’s kind of the point, right? I mean, I’m entering a war zone and things will have to be a bit, ah, improvisational. But I’m heartened at the avalanche of “bon vayage”s, “good luck”s and “You crazy bastard”s I’ve received from friends, family and strangers. I’m grateful to and for them all.
To be honest, yesterday’s news of the murder of Nick Berg did not fill me with confidence. However, it should be noted that al-Zarqawi — or whoever killed him — didn’t need the excuse of Abu Ghraib to kill an American in such a way. Daniel Pearl was killed in a similar way, long before Iraq ever happened. Iraq is a dangerous place. It might be too dangerous to go. But if I do, I won’t be wandering around alone as Nick seemed to be doing. I have friends there, and the CPA knows I’m coming as a journalist.
There’s no guarantee of safety, of course, but I’ll do my best not to be stupid.
Tonight I fly out to Oslo and will be in Jordan by this weekend. After that, we’ll see what happens. You all, of course, will be kept informed via this blog.
Speaking of the blog, since I plan to be overseas for a matter of months, I’ll still be accepting donations. I can get cash over there. But I’m also going to be freelancing for some decent-sized publications, including Popular Mechanics, so I may have to give them the priority instead of the blog. One just can’t live forever overseas in a war zone on blog donations. I would if I could. But I will be updating this blog with scenes of daily life from Iraq as well as stories and features that don’t sell. Maybe you guys will be able to tell me the reason. When an article comes out, I’ll tell you all about it.
So I’m leaving in a few hours. Farewell all. For now. I promise I’ll try not to let you down.