• My Bodyguard: Staff writer Scott Baldauf was interviewing people for today's story about Moqtada al-Sadr (page 1) at a market in Baghdad, when some gunmen from the Mahdi Army walked past, shouting at the shopkeepers to close their shops immediately. The Mahdi Army had announced there would be a curfew at 1 p.m., but they started closing the market down at 11:30 a.m.
Scott was fascinated by the unspoken and spontaneous reaction to the militiamen's arrival. "Some of the people who had been standing around me listening in or offering their opinions, immediately walked away. The last man I had been talking to didn't leave, but immediately walked around behind me, and positioned himself between me and the gunmen, shielding me from their view.
"It was completely instinctive, and probably a survival technique ingrained under Saddam Hussein to prevent themselves from being jailed for sedition. But they were also being protective of me, something I was grateful for," says Scott.
David Clark Scott
• Foreign Policy Reads: Foreign Affairs magazine's latest rankings of the top-selling books on US and international affairs compiled at Barnes & Noble. (www.foreignaffairs.org/bestsellers):
1. "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror" by Anonymous
2. "Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It" by Peter G. Peterson
3. "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward
4. "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror" by Richard A. Clarke
5. "House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties" by Craig Unger