Two American reporters for AP are going back to Baghdad the next day, leaving a Russian, a Frenchman, a Romanian and an Australian. Surprisingly to me, they're generally impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the soldiers.Damn straight. At one point, he describes following a two-man sniper team around town (emphasis mine).
Sasha, who films for AP, had his lost satellite phone returned by some soldiers. The only call on it, to London, was to the number on the phone, to find out who it belonged to. "If Russian soldier picks up sat phone, it's goodbye phone. Some Americans pick up sat phone, give to PAO!" he says wonderingly.
"Good mentality, good people." says Jean-Claude.
We cross through a dozen homes like this, avoiding the street so that people won't be able to figure out where we're going.The reference to the camera and the art supplies made me laugh, and that it wouldn't be that unusal for such a mix to occur also seemed appropriate (even if it wasn't intentionally called out that way).
The sight of three men in flack jackets and helmets, with rifles, a radio, camera and art supplies, seems to elicit little surprise.
As always, the entire column is worth reading in its entirety. If you're not familiar with Mumford's Baghdad Journal, I highly recommend checking out all his past columns, which I collected here. Good stuff.