In the crucible heat of the Iraqi summer, Lt. Jim Waters’s Humvees make their way down the packed streets of southern Baghdad. At the crowded intersections, Iraqi drivers slam on their brakes, trying to keep their distance from the US convoy. The turret gunners yell at cars to stop. It’s a series of confusing moves that passes for standard traffic-control in Baghdad. When the patrol passes a busy street, Lieutenant Waters, a sheriff from Sacramento, Calif., who commands a company of California National Guard soldiers in the 184th Infantry, tells his men to get out and start walking. As the foot patrol makes its way through the streets, an old Shiite woman in a black hejab invites Waters into her house. At the threshold, Waters politely waits. Full Story
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