Reporting From the Red Zone

60 Months in the Red Zone

BY FELIX GILLETTE, MATT HABER AND JOHN KOBLIN

“It’s the oft-stated phrase that truth is the first casualty of war,” said Michael Ware, CNN’s Baghdad correspondent, on the telephone from Iraq. “In this war, as in every other conflict, everybody lies to you. Your government is lying to you. The Iraqi government is lying. The insurgents are lying. The militias are lying. The U.S. military is lying. Even the civilians lie. Or in the best case, there’s confusion and exaggeration. The truth is the most elusive thing in war, particularly in an insurgency.”MORE …

House Arrest in Baghdad

BY MATT HABER

To reach Babak Dehghanpisheh, Newsweek’s Baghdad Bureau Chief, you have to dial a twelve-digit number (that’s minus a series of zeros that you sometimes need to dial first) which rings him on his satellite phone in the house the magazine shares with two other media organizations inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

Mr. Dehghanpisheh, who’s been in and out of Iraq since 2003 in rotations that usually last two months at a time, sounds pretty upbeat as he talks about the challenges of reporting a war that in five years has gone through so many different phases. "In ’03, ’04 movement was pretty much unrestricted, I guess self-restricted," Mr. Dehghanpaisheh says through a slight delay. "You’d jump in a car and go to Fallujah and report a story. You could get away with a pretty bare bones security set up in those early days. Maybe just a guard. But in general, relatively low-key." MORE …

A Small Town in the Middle East

BY JOHN KOBLIN

"I had a big birthday the other day, a birthday with a zero in it," said Jim Muir, the Baghdad bureau chief for the BBC. "Unbeknownst to me they organized a surprise party. They put out an invitation to our street, which we share with the New York Times, and Reuters, and the AP, and various other news outlets. Only two people came."

The life of a foreign correspondent can be an isolating job; but that is nowhere as true as it is for the reporters covering Baghdad. MORE …

General Petraeus and the ‘Information War’

BY FELIX GILLETTE

Jamie Tarabay, the former Baghdad Bureau Chief for NPR, was stationed in Iraq in the early months of 2007 when General David Petraeus arrived to take over command of the U.S. forces there.

In the weeks and months to come, like many of her professional colleagues in the war zone, she eventually accompanied Mr. Petraeus on a number of walk-along interviews as he strolled through the streets of the occupied city.MORE … Reporting From the Red Zone