Embedded in Iraq: 20 Years Later

subj: palestine hotel shipping

Posted by jim on June 14, 2004 at 12:37:28:

for everybody who keeps asking…. i went down to the DHL desk in the lobby. they say you need only to address is to me @: room 826, palestine hotel, baghdad, iraq

the problem is that pirates jack the trucks and burn everything from america; so, don’t send anything of value. also, the rates might be outrageous, so it would be silly to send cookies, whatever. and the hotel moved all my stuff into a different room for no apparent reason while i was away for a few weeks last time. tomorrow, i’m going into another embed for a few weeks, so i won’t get to my room for a while, adding to the risks. basically, maybe we oughtta stick to the internet. but many thanks all the same!


Posted by jim on June 16, 2004 at 12:50:02:

i’m in the army now….camp victory….near abu ghraib….for 2-3 weeks. jim

Posted by jim ( on June 20, 2004 at 12:13:06:

this camp is nice, but this country is just hell. yesterday i showed up early for a meeting, and was invited to lunch by the local iraqi interpreters working on the base. one guy, matham, an english scholar about my age, was vehement about his belief that american intervention was the only possible path to stability for iraq.

several of the “‘terps” have had their lives and their families threatened, and one had been killed already by a roadside bomb, but they were so committed to the cause that they endured the risk. today, i went to photograph religious services, because there was nothing else to do, and i learned there that matham was murdered in his home overnight, presumably for cooperating with the americans. and the others immediately quit when they got the news.

matham was a scholar and a father of four. no fathers’ day for them. i was about to inquire about services for matham, but during the service, it was also learned that an IED had just struck a truckload of ICDC troops, killing two, and wounding six or seven, four of them seriously. i’m suddenly even less optimistic about any meaningful handover.

Posted by jim on June 23, 2004 at 01:24:07:

i have a slow day today, as overnight raids were cancelled when the targets didn’t show up. the days preceding the handover promise more action. i’m with the army 1st cav now, which holds the safety of heavily armored vehicles, but also makes it hard to take pictures, so wish me luck.


About these posts: 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.