Quote of the Day: THE FOREVER WAR

Dexter Filkins, it seems, can go everywhere and do anything.

On 9/11, he got to the World Trade Center (don’t ask how, self doesn’t know) and engaged one of the first responders, a fireman, in conversation. He went to the second floor of one of the ruined buildings, stood on a ledge, and looked down at a crater of rubble. He also, BTW, got to see a cord of human intestine.

The day after 9/11, he took self into One Liberty Plaza and into a Brooks Brothers store, at 3 a.m.

He interviewed prisoners in Afghanistan (prisoners of the regime in power at the time, and now self doesn’t remember if it was the Taliban or the Northern Alliance), including one young man who was on the floor of a filthy cell. The man had been gravely injured. Filkins paused and wrote in his notebook: “Dying.” He went ahead and conducted the interview.

Now, March 2003, he’s in Baghdad. He enters Saddam’s presidential palace in Tikrit, managing to just make it before the advancing American marines. (The mark of a great reporter: Timing is everything)

I stepped into Saddam’s personal study, a wide room of marble floors, cathedral windows and magnificent carpets. The room was empty and quiet. There, on a shelf, sat The Collected Works of Saddam Hussein, volumes 1 – 10, barely cracked. In the next room was a tablet of paper, imposing in its plainness, labeled simply “The President.” In the bathroom were the signs of a hurried exit: a cabinet door open, a crumpled towel on the floor, a pair of men’s boxer shorts still hanging on the rack.

Self can hardly wait to see where he goes next.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.






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