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One Morning in Baghdad

The Muslim Times

Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, there’s no satisfying answer to the question: What were we doing in Iraq anyway?

Maya Alleruzzo / AP / Katie Martin / The Atlantic
One morning in October 2003, I was shaken out of bed by an explosion. I was in Baghdad, leading a platoon of Army Rangers as part of a special operations task force that was hunting down the famous “deck of cards”—the last of the Ba’ath Regime loyalists, and Saddam himself.Because we did all of our work at night, I had only been sleeping for a few hours. When I first felt the explosion, I rolled out of bed, grabbed my M4 carbine, and ran out of the house we were living in on the southern tip of Baghdad’s so-called  Green Zone. Improbably, my giant grizzly bear of a platoon sergeant remained asleep, snoring away in the cot next…

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