Reporters on the Job
• Make Way for a Tank: With Monitor staffer Scott Peterson now back in Baghdad, along with Dan Murphy, they needed a second interpreter. Dan hired Anas, a friend of a friend, who was helpful in reporting Thursday's story (page 1). On their way to an interview, Dan explained that he was looking at the state of Iraqi support for the US occupation. Anas told Dan what he saw on Tuesday.
"Anas went to take a look at a US tank that was destroyed by an improvised explosive device (IED) under the Jadariyah Bridge in central Baghdad," says Dan. "But he couldn't get close enough to see the damage. The tank was near a long line of cars stopped by the road-block on the highway. While he waited, he saw another US tank arrive on the scene. One car was sticking out of its lane, creeping along, and the tank couldn't get by. The tank drove up on the trunk of the brown Toyota and began smashing it flat. The driver barely bailed out in time. Anas said: 'If the tank had waited two minutes the guy could have gotten out of the way. I lived in the US, know how Americans are, and that wouldn't be tolerated in the US.' "
• Free to Cook: Correspondent Annia Ciezadlo was in a Baghdad living room interviewing residents about their support for residents of Fallujah (page 7), when footage of the American hostage, Thomas Hamill, appeared on the television. "My Shiite interpreter joked nervously, 'You're not going to kidnap us?'" We were in the home of a former Baathist informer and several other men. He laughed. 'I can tell who's a spy and who's not. You're not spies. Tell everyone how the Shiites in Iraq are supporting the people of Fallujah.' Annia agreed to pass along his words.
Later she was invited to dinner. "I declined, telling him that I need to get home to fix dinner for my husband. That was a big hit. When I told my husband how I had got out of it, he laughed too, knowing that I'm not in the habit of cooking for him."
David Clark Scott