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Ali, an Iraqi guard working in the Green Zone. A very cheerful fellow, he placed a cheap watch in my hand, and then refused to take it back. Later he asked me if I had a gift for him -- I gave him my Swiss Army knife and felt ripped off! But I got a good drawing out of it
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by Steve Mumford

A half an hour drive from the Kuwait International Airport is Camp Ali al Salem, a sprawling U.S. airbase where flights take off for locations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The landscape is flat, colorless and monotonous, but the March air is cool and comfortable even in the midday sun. Iím here to get a military flight to Baghdad, where Iím embedding at the army hospital, the 28th CSH. Itís been over two years since Iíve last been in Iraq [see Baghdad Journal].