Reporters on the Job

A Fan of Saddam: While embedded with US troops in the Iraqi city of Baquba, staff writer Dan Murphy was surprised to find an ardent fan of Saddam Hussein working side by side with the Americans.

"The local police intelligence officer is a bright, young, English-speaking man who is a die-hard Saddam lover - and everybody knows it," says Dan. "He's angry about Saddam's trial, wants US troops out of Iraq, and sneered at the views of Shiites on election day."

But every day, he works in the local command center where US and Iraqi military and police sit down with their maps and discuss insurgent movements, troop movements, and incidents. The goal is to coordinate their efforts.

Dan says that the US military likes him: "He's sharp, works hard, and they trust him to do his job. They just don't share his political views. And he says he's a firm believer in law and order." Dan found it reassuring that those working to bring security to Baquba held a range of political views.

Resilience: Correspondent Anuj Chopra, who is based in Bombay (Mumbai), India, says that in the wake of the deadly attacks in New Delhi on Oct. 29, Indians have been remarkably calm. "Here, as in Delhi, the threat of attack is felt. Yet with the Hindu festival Dewali just 24 hours away, people want to keep going. They are taking things in stride. I think it's an Indian trait."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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