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Thursday, April 03, 2003

Back to Iraq — at last.
Checkpoint Questions:
“Who is that actor, in ‘Back to the Future’? With Michael J. Fox?”

“Christopher Lloyd?”

“Yes!” he said.

I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. The last time I was here, the authority figures of the region exhibited an intense curiosity combined with the air of menace. Here, being in charge means being feared.

After I explained the plot as best I could of the three movies — you have no idea how difficult that is, even with a translator — he asked me to explain the rules of American football. So I did, again, as best I could, turning yards into meters and downs into turns. He was thoroughly confused and by the time I got to the concept of a lateral pass, he’d had enough. He called the Sirnak station again.

After a moment he turned back to me. “Bye bye,” he said and smiled.
Christopher should be in Iraq now.

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