Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq

Overview

“Dahr Jamail does us a great service, by taking us past the lies of our political leaders, past the cowardice of the mainstream press, into the streets, the homes, the lives of Iraqis living under US occupation. If what he has seen could be conveyed to all Americans, this ugly war in Iraq would quickly come to an end. A superb journalist.”—Howard Zinn

We walk slowly under the scorching sun along dusty rows of humble headstones. She continues reading them aloud to me, “Old man wearing jacket with dishdasha, near ...

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Overview

“Dahr Jamail does us a great service, by taking us past the lies of our political leaders, past the cowardice of the mainstream press, into the streets, the homes, the lives of Iraqis living under US occupation. If what he has seen could be conveyed to all Americans, this ugly war in Iraq would quickly come to an end. A superb journalist.”—Howard Zinn

We walk slowly under the scorching sun along dusty rows of humble headstones. She continues reading them aloud to me, “Old man wearing jacket with dishdasha, near industrial center. He has a key in his hand.” Many of the bodies were buried before they could be identified. Tears welling up in my eyes she quietly reads, “Man wearing red track suit.” She points to another row, “Three women killed in car leaving city by American missile.”

As the occupation of Iraq unravels, the demand for independent reporting is growing. Since 2003, unembedded journalist Dahr Jamail has filed indispensable reports from Iraq that have made him this generation’s chronicler of the unfolding disaster there. In these collected dispatches, Jamail presents never-before-published details of the siege of Fallujah and examines the origins of the Iraqi insurgency.

Dahr Jamail makes frequent visits to Iraq and has published his accounts in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has regularly appeared on Democracy Now!, as well as the BBC, Pacifica Radio, and numerous other networks.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An urgent, in-the-trenches report on the dire humanitarian crisis in U.S.-occupied Iraq by a freelance Alaskan journalist. Jamail's time in war-torn Iraq began in November 2003, seven months after the U.S. invasion, when the author-who had previously worked as a mountain guide on Mt. McKinley while also doing social work and freelance writing-arrived from Amman, Jordan, into ravaged Baghdad to see for himself what was going on. Jamail was not an "embedded" journalist-that is, one tied to the Pentagon-sponsored "embed" program-but he aimed to "look for stories of real life and ‘embed' myself with the Iraqi people." He stayed nine weeks, but returned to Iraq in April of the next year. Through various journalist connections, he secured drivers to take him around the desperate city, from hospitals, where he viewed the grisly carnage from car bombings, American snipers and shootouts with resistance fighters; to Samarra, after an ambush on American soldiers; to entree into civilians' homes to hear the truth about American military aggression and the lack of basic human services, such as water, medicine, electricity and gasoline. In the course of his travels, he was constantly confronted with angry Iraqis who were stunned by American brutality as well as their lack of compassion and respect for human dignity. Jamail was continually reminded of suicide bombs and the fear of being kidnapped, and he observed daily the deterioration of conditions and ached for the people's general lack of health and freedom. Shortly after his return, he witnessed the worst resistance fighting around Fallujah as the Americans retaliated against the murder of four Blackwater mercenaries. While the author provides manysignificant, eye-opening observations, the prose is pedestrian, and he offers scant historical context. Mechanics aside, an important eyewitness testimony.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931859479
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dahr Jamail's reporting from Iraq has been published in newspapers and magazine worldwide. He has appeared on Democracy Now! as a regular guest, as well as BBC, Pacifia Radio, and numerous other networks. Amy Goodman has been confronting the Washington establishment and its corporate sponsors while giving voice to the ordinary citizens and activists who are fighting for a better, more peaceful world. Her daily international radio and TV show, Democracy Now!, began in 1996 and is now carried on more than 500 stations and on http://www.democracynow.org.

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Table of Contents


Foreword   Amy Goodman   Denis Moynihan     XI
Introduction     1
Entering Iraq     7
Peering into an Abyss     33
Growing Fury and Unrest     53
Kebabs in Fallujah     67
Craving Health and Freedom     85
Going "Home"     101
Reentering the Inferno     107
Sarajevo on the Euphrates     127
Raiding Mosques, Torturing Iraqis     143
The Aftermath in Fallujah     159
Shattered Dreams     175
"Nobody Here Likes the Occupiers"     191
Leaving the Volcano for the Eye of the Hurricane     209
Spiraling into Occupied Iraq     217
Operation Phantom Fury     229
Into Oblivion     241
Dying for Democracy     259
Coming "Home"     277
Afterword     283
Notes     293
Acknowledgments     303
Index     307
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