Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Quick off the mark with the latest breaking news I am not. Maybe I should consider a new career as I've only just stumbled across a piece by Wendell Steavenson, written a few days after my accident.

It captures the rising fear and sense of dread that seemed to pervade Northern Iraq around that time. The last sentence touches on that inexplicable but all-important quality that underpins all war correspondents -- bottle. Sometimes you feel invulnerable, as though nothing can touch you. At other times, though, courage seems to shrivel to nothing and you're scared to leave the hotel. Thankfully Steavenson listened to the bad vibes when his bottle deserted her. She writes:

"I felt a fool, but somehow, insidiously, the events of the past weeks had hit me in the pit of my stomach, and my courage was gone."

When that feeling hits you it's time to get the hell out. Unfortunately in my case my bottle didn't dry up quickly enough, although it sure has now. Whether it'll ever come back again I still don't know.

Slate: Getting Scared in Kurdistan

Discuss "Beyond Northern Iraq"


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