Baghdad photos and poetry

(photos  in Baghdad, Iraq, mostly near the Palestine Hotel in early 2003. Text and images copyright Christopher Johnson Globalite Media, all rights reserved. Unauthorized use in any form is strictly prohibited. Contact


The Veteran

—- a poem by CJ —-

Do you think you can rob me and disrespect me? Intimidate me? Lock me in a cage and torture me?

You don’t scare me.

You aren’t the asshole Tom Faubert who smashed my brother’s head against the grocery store wall, and beat up my father in front of my mother and sister across the street from our house, and then laughed at my little brother in the court house.

You aren’t the crackhead who shot my uncle Don in the head in Detroit.

You aren’t the home invader who murdered my brother’s drummer in his house in Austin this Christmas.

You aren’t the gang that strangled me and beat me unconscious and broke my nose and ribs and left me naked in a park to die in Nairobi, or the jerks who mugged me at knifepoint in Rio de Janeiro.

You aren’t the Chetniks who severed the head of my roommate Christian Wurtenburg in Vukovar.

You aren’t Khaled Sheikh Mohammed who cut up Daniel Pearl like a goat a few weeks after we had Thanksgiving dinner in Islamabad.

You aren’t the Taliban motherfuckers who murdered Harry Burton and raped and killed the women in the van in Afghanistan.

And you aren’t the gunmen who shot Nelson Rand three times last year when we were working for France 24 in Bangkok.

You are a spineless sewer rat with no sense of humanity.

Where I come from, you don’t mess with a man’s car, a man’s woman, a man’s dog, or a man’s job.

You go behind someone’s back, and they come knockin on your front, with a shotgun.