Embedded in Iraq: 20 Years Later

subj: day 2, showtime

subj: day 2
posted by jim on may 07, 2004 at 00:11:41:
it’s about 9am. checking my email, having coffee…
and boom! something explodes in the distance, but nobody can tell where. apparently this is hardly unusual. everybody takes a look from their balconies, and goes back to their coffee. no big deal. i’m told there are sometimes controlled explosions at the top of the hour, apparently to dispose of recovered explosives.

subj: showtime
posted by jim ( on may 08, 2004 at 11:22:10:
off to embed in 8hrs: 10p sat. est… off to pack & sleep now.
might be m.i.a. for a while. might peek here. no time for email on sat phone.

Update, 2024: I am making it up as I go, in terms of deciding which messages to repost now. There were 20 back-and-forth messages on this date and I felt lucky to be connected to friends at home but I think I will just post my own messages with actual updates. I am cleaning them up a little too but adding nothing new.

About: In 2004, I took a leave from my job at the old Philadelphia Daily News and spent next 12 months photographing the war in Iraq for the Associated Press. I shared my experiences with friends and family on a private mailing list and now I am posting my entries on the same dates 20 years later.

By Jim MacMillan

Jim MacMillan is the founder and director of the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting and the assistant director of the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting at Temple University. He has been a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Knight-Wallace Fellows, as well as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Swarthmore College. Previously, MacMillan spent 17 years at the Philadelphia Daily News and photographed the war in Iraq for The Associated Press, after which he and his team were awarded The Pulitzer Prize.