Reporters on the Job

On the Fallujah Front: Conditions are relatively primitive for the US Marines mustering to invade Fallujah. Each day fresh US units - and Iraqi forces as well - arrive from different parts of Iraq, says Scott Peterson, who is embedded with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit near Fallujah (page 1).

Scott has been billeted with a couple of journalistic colleagues in a concrete shell of a structure, in which all the window frames and electrical wiring have long since been looted. It is next to the makeshift chapel - currently being fitted with sandbags, though no mortars have landed nearby for a couple of weeks.

He sleeps on a marine cot in a room that was swept before he arrived. Outside, there are piles of regional rubbish (stone masonry, old military boots, and old gas-mask canisters). "It's all quite dusty thanks to a major dust storm on first night, which covered everything," he says.

He adds that the marines are focused. "They are never far from the reason they came to Iraq in the first place," says Scott. "Covering one end of the dining hall is a huge poster of Saddam Hussein. The bottom has been torn away, but Saddam is still there, from the moustache on up."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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