Even Experts Are Killed

Zarqawi's No. 2 Killed

Capture Analysis
Gen. Richard Myers

Sept. 26, 2005

Big helicopter goes right overhead at night. You listen and wait until you understand the sound. A Brit was singing in the workspace quietly at a laptop this morning. In the distance there was a boom...a car bomb. In a few minutes you can read ten dead, thirty wounded, or in shorthand 10/30. The singing stopped for a second, then the Brit imitated the boom in the song, then threw in a few whistle sounds that simulated mortar fire...

It's 2 a.m., reading newspaper articles on the computer...who got killed and how: a U.S. State department security officer, killed when a suicide car bomber crashed into his armored car — even when you have armor, even when you are an expert; a reporter in Basra, dragged from his house by men in police uniforms. Someone suggested to me to go to Basra...

They killed five primary school teachers today. They were killed in the school.

Sept. 25, 2005 3:20 p.m.

Cell phones work in Baghdad now. I called home from my room.

"Sounds like you have a cold," my mother said. It took her a second. She can tell so much I have to be careful with my tone when I call. What she could not hear, fortunately, was the POP outside the window. It sounded like firecrackers, but it was someone firing a Kalashnikov, someone trying to kill someone, and it did not sound far.

"So your brother got a dog."


"That's great. A Labrador?"


"Yeah. The kids love him."

Sept. 24, 2005 7:37 pm


Pop, pop, pop like an air gun. An AK in the distance. Morning birds of Baghdad. Before you roll over you think, How far away? Fifty yards. Maybe 250. Sounded closer. No one inside the sub, though, so no need to get up.

Mister. Hey Mister. Hello Mister. Kids at the pool staring at the white guy who puts on his shades to avoid eye contact. When their ball goes behind him they are too afraid to go get it — like the old lady on your street, when you hit the ball in her yard it would be gone for good.

Pop, pop, pop behind you. You look back. A curtain behind you, glass behind that. Maybe not the best place to sit. You look at the other guy in the chair and you both raise eyebrows with odd smiling face. Arsenal tied nothing-nothing.

Sept. 23, 2005 6:08 p.m.

Tea on the way, made by a Brit.

Arnett never drank in a war zone. He said he saw it ruin a lot of colleagues. Arnett said bananas were the best food in a war zone. They were clean, because of the peel and good for the stomach, because no groundwater. It was the by-yourself-ness that could get you in a war zone.


In the airport in Amman most of the men's rooms are attendant-free, except for the last one before boarding the flight to Baghdad. Everyone is so scared it’s packed. When I ducked in before the flight it was SRO, and the attendant directed me to his sink. I hesitated, but he encouraged me with a smile and a nod, and was rewarded with a fistful of change from various countries. "You are a good man, a very good man," he said. I remembered the heartbreak of Johnny Fumbles, when he had no change on the Iraq/Jordan border and had to fork over a single to the attendant ... who ran after his car to get it.

Short-haired guys on the flight to Baghdad.

"I'm hanging up my guns at the end of the year," one guy said. The guy he was talking to was gonna quit too, in February. Just getting enough money saved up to enter the tourism business. As the plane corkscrewed over Baghdad everyone was telling themselves that this was the last time.

E-mail Harrigan

I think you are the best military reporter we have had since WWII. I watch for your work on FOX all the time. Don't usually pay much attention to who the reporter is. Thanks for being there, keep your head down.

Liverpool, NY


You are right about your Mom. They are all that way no matter how old you are, or dare I
say it how old they are. They know.

Stay safe.
Donna & Mom

It must be strange for you to hear others talking about hanging it up, but I think you are a warrior of sorts and you will someday have the same feeling. I can say from experience that it isn't the last time until you are sitting where I am hearing folks like you talk about it from there that it sinks in. I miss it in a strange way, but I know that I am now done.

Grand Rapids, MI


Sorry to hear you are back in Iraq, however, it's good to know someone from the media is over there... My son is stationed at FOB Warrior in Kirkuk. Will be leaving soon to come home the end of October. I end all my e-mails and phone calls with two words: "Stay Safe." And that goes for you also. Thanks for everything!

Merrick, NY

Hi Steve,

I Think you are one of the best news reporters around. You did a great job during Katrina, and I was hoping to see your coverage for Rita especially since I live in Houston. For two nights I kept saying to my husband "where is Steve Harrigan?" Now I know. Good luck over there and will look forward to any of your reports.


If your blog today (the first one of yours I have read) is any indication of your writing ability, I think a book about your adventures would make great reading for both me and my husband - better than Hemingway - a dubious compliment, I fear. Take care.

From one old enough to be your mother (or even your grandmother?)

Sanford, N.C.


Our son is on active duty in the Air Force and has just returned to Iraq. The first tour didn't bother me so much--this time I'm pretty nervous about it. He is at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

Braymer, MO

Steve —

I was lucky enough to have both Marine sons return home safely from Iraq, and my heart breaks for all moms who have not been so fortunate. Wherever you are, please stay safe

Harrison, AR

I started watching you when we first went into Afghanistan and have loved you ever since, you do a more than great job

Faithful FOX News Watcher

Thanks to you and your crew - I wouldn't say this about many media types - but what you do.... I now believe is truly a sacrifice on several levels.

Please know it's appreciated - Godspeed - Be Safe


Have missed you on the news. You were great in New Orleans and miss seeing you. Take care where ever you are and be safe. You are the best.


You take care over in Iraq. I am wondering if you have ever considered writing a book. Your ability to cut through the bovine droppings and get the story is a gift. I think you would do well as an author. Stay safe and thanks for what you do.

Peg from Florida

Hi Steve,
I am an ardent fan of yours and was wondering what happened to you since Katrina. The last time I saw you was the day you rescued that young guy off a wall in New Orleans. I do hope that you stay safe and return home soon to our TV screens in the U.S.


You are absolutely the best reporter I have ever witnessed! When you tell the story... it is like I'm there. Thanks for all your honesty.

LC Nichols
Montgomery, AL

My son just got back from Iraq. Having been in combat I never expected to be as torn up as I was when he got on that airplane or while he was over there.

Tim Fitzpatrick


I for one are so glad you are going back to Iraq, because if not for you being there, we would not get any news. We no longer hear news good or bad on our soldiers. They are forgotten news, and for friends and families it is sad.

West Chester, PA

You've got more guts than "Ol Blood & Guts." Keep up the good work...

GM Hilliard

So glad to find your blog. Missed seeing you the last couple of weeks. You did a great job reporting on Katrina. You are the best!! Stay safe in Iraq.

Atlanta, GA

I love reading your stories from Iraq… you at least tell it like it is here…