By Michael J. Totten
As soon as the Iraqi Embassy issues my journalist visa, which is supposed to be any day now, I’ll be heading back to Iraq — this time to Baghdad and Anbar Province with the United States military.
I had plans to visit Iraq twice already with the military. They were planning to take me and a handful of other bloggers on a free trip from Washington. But bureaucracy and logistics issues created six months of delays and it isn’t worth waiting in travel limbo any longer. This is perhaps for the best. Instead I’ll go solo as a media embed and skip the dog and pony show.
The only problem with this is that it’s expensive — and dangerous. I need body armor, a helmet, and war zone insurance that costs 100 dollars per day.
So I need to ask for your help. There hasn’t been as much original material on the blog lately because I’ve needed to sell my skills and time to others to make ends meet. But I’m going to Baghdad, to the war, and I am going to blog it.
It’s impossible for me to make trips like these and publish the material for free on this Web site without substantial reader donations. I am not independently wealthy and I don’t have a trust fund or inheritance to pay for all this. My expenses are ongoing and donations need to be ongoing, too.
If you have been reading my dispatches for free all this time, please consider helping me out so I don’t have to get a regular job and deal with media gatekeepers. If you have donated in the past, please consider donating again so I can keep doing this.
The more money I can raise from my readers, the more time I can devote to this Web site because I won’t need to sell my time to somebody else.
Because my expenses are ongoing, I am pleased to announce that there is now an easier way than using Pay Pal to help. Joshua Zader has developed a new system called Blog Patron. It allows you to make recurring monthly donations to bloggers (like me) whom you wish to support. The system couldn’t be any easier to use. If enough of you sign up it will give me the financial stability I need to make this blog a full time instead of part time job.
Please click the button below and enroll.
If you prefer use Pay Pal, that is still an option.
If you would like to donate for travel and equipment expenses and you don’t want to send money over the Internet, please consider sending a check or money order to:
P.O. Box 312
Portland, OR 97207-0312
Many thanks in advance.