Everyone is telling their Christopher Hitchens stories so here is mine.
I met him in Kuwait in the opening days of the Iraq war. We were in the same pointless scramble, trying to convince Kuwaiti border guards to let us cross into Iraq.
I said G’day and was sucked immediately into conversation. He laughed a lot. He was cock-a-hoop. The war was just as he wanted it. I was in a sour mood, tired after weeks in Baghdad, cranky at having been pulled out when we were the last Australian TV team there. I was bickering bitterly with Kuwaiti officialdom. Hitchens cheered me up.
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George W Bush makes his fourth trip to Iraq as president of United States today in 2008 and is almost struck by two shoes thrown directly at him by Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi.
And it’s Tuesday at The Punch. What’s on your mind?
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In October 2007 two unarmed Iraqi women were shot and killed by private military contractors working for Unity Resources Group (URG), the same firm that now guards the Australian embassy in Baghdad.
Just over a year earlier, contractors from the same company shot and killed a 72 year old Australian academic for failing to stop at a checkpoint.
The Defence Department recently told a Senate committee it was aware of the incidents when it awarded URG the embassy contract, but based on third party reports from “American, Iraqi and British authorities” decided the shootings were justified.
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War broke out between Iraq and Iran today in 1980 following weeks of border clashes between the two nations.
And it’s Wednesday at The Punch, so what’s on your mind? Share it here.
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It’s Friday @ The Punch
Today in 2003 a group of Iraqi men attempted to pull down a massive statue of Saddam Hussein in the main square of Baghdad.
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If it’s possible that anything positive could come out of the Fort Hood shootings in the United States last week let’s hope it raises the much maligned profile of mental health in the armed forces.
One third of American troops return home from Iraq suffering from some form of mental health issue.
High divorce rates and domestic violence are also increasingly common.
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