Michael Totten

Back from Iraq

I just spent two weeks in Northern Iraq and have arrived back in Lebanon safely. Sorry for misleading everyone about my travel schedule. For those of you who forgot…a few weeks ago I said I was beginning my Iraq trip today.
At least one organization on the U.S. terrorist watch list already monitors my Web site, and a Lebanese friend of mine convinced me that it would be smart not to advertise to the entire planet when I would be in that country. That’s why hardly any new material has been posted on this Web site lately.
Once I arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan and spent a little time there, it didn’t seem like the ruse was actually necessary. I kept it up anyway, though, because I had almost no time to write in any case. Northern Iraq isn’t particularly dangerous. There are occasional terrorist attacks against the Kurdistan Regional Government. But the anti-Western head-chopping kidnappers aren’t able to operate there. The Kurdish defense forces, the Peshmerga (“those who face death”), do terrific work keeping their part of the country safe and secure.
Now that I’m back I can spend the next couple of weeks writing about what I saw, heard, and experienced while I was there. Before I get started, I will say right up front that my trip was every bit as interesting and rewarding as it possibly could have been. I hope that, whatever your opinion of the Iraq war and the situation there now, you’ll find some value in what I’ll have to say.