Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Saddam's Entry Regulations

From "Generation Kill," Evan Wright's brilliant account of the Marine's First Recon Battalion's exploits and experiences during Operation Iraqi Freedom:
By the time Bravo pulls its teams out of Al Muwaffaqiyah and regroups (...), a small mob of officers and senior enlisted men are gathered by the eucalyptus tree where we were ambushed. There are five bodies of enemy fighters scattered under them, along with piles of munitions, RPGs, AKs and hand grenades. (...)

"This guy's still alive," Kocher says. (...) Kocher volunteers to search him. (...) He carries a Syrian passport that bears the name Ahmed Shahada. He's twenty-six years old, and his address in Iraq is listed as the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad (...). He's carrying 500 Syrian pounds, a packet of prescription painkillers in his shirt pocket and an entry visa to Iraq dated March 23. He arrived barely more than a week ago. Handwritten in the section of his visa that asks the purpose of his visit to Iraq is one word: "Jihad."


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