The latest Baghdad Journal from Steve Mumford is, as usual, chock-full of interesting bits about Iraq that you’re not likely to hear about elsewhere. For those who are unaware of Mumford’s excellent column (there are now 14 such articles), he is a New York artist who has travelled to Iraq on a number of occasions over the past few years, sometimes embedding with the military, sometimes just visiting Iraqi artists he’s made friends with. He writes about his trips and thus provides us with an interesting perspective that is unlike most of what you see about Iraq. I highly recommend you check out his other articles, which I have collected here.
His articles are always accompanied by artwork, usually drawn by him, ranging from brief sketches to more detailed paintings. If you haven’t noticed, there are often little mini-anecdotes hidden in the individual art pages. In the most recent article, Mumford describes a Psy-ops meeting with an Iraqi communist:
Psy-Ops at Communist Party Headquarters, Baqubah
The Psy-Ops people don’t want their names used, but here an NCO is interviewing the leader of the local party
to find out if they’ll be fielding candidates for the upcoming elections. Ironically, Iraq’s Communist Party is quite pro-U.S.,
recognizing that the new government is the best shot at a democracy the country’s ever had.
Communists a fan of the U.S. because they support democracy? That sounds a bit odd to me, but interesting nonetheless. Other highlights from the recent article include a “shady” Iraqi mayor, reconstruction woes, the Iraqi football/soccer team, and the Miller Lite Catfight Girls. Again, highly recommended reading.