Stopover in Cancun

June 10, 2006
Cancun, Mexico

It took a while to get the gear through customs, so Crispy and I missed our connection. It also took a while to find a hotel with a room. The good ones were sold out, but we found one room in a dump downtown. The bellman sided up to me and began talking about the attractions of Cancun.

"Here on business?" he looked up with a smile. It was one o'clock in the morning.

There was a profile of the Argentinian soccer team from 1978 on television in Spanish.

The dreams weren't bad — woke up at 8 a.m. and tried to remember them. It was dog training with Cesar Millan. Six owners, two rows, Cesar throwing balls to the dogs... but off to the right in the distance, soldiers were marching in a distorted manner with one arm up.

"See those guys," I said to a couple of dog owners next to me, "they've been shot in the eye. Now they've got to get the shrapnel out of the cornea."

I felt a little resentment from the dog owners behind me because I was disturbing the lesson, but the owners next to me asked more questions about Iraq.

"When you get hit in the eye," I told them in the dream, "you have to pop out your eyeball to get the shrapnel out, then put it back in."

The dogs were running back and forth for the tennis balls thrown by the "Dog Whisperer." In the dream, I remembered how it felt to be hit in the eye, the feeling of foreign matter in the eyeball, and what I had to do to get it out.

A guy had gotten shot in the eye in real life in a camp I visited in Iraq. He was wearing Oakley M-frame sunglasses, which he credited with deflecting the bullet. Then there was another U.S. soldier, a woman I followed home from the explosion in Balad. She had been running for the shelter during mortar fire, but didn't make it. Before the mortar fire, she was watching TV with friends on the base, getting ready to go out. I saw them bring her in on a stretcher with stuff covering her eye. She looked so helpless. We followed her to Landstuhl, then to Walter Reed. She made a remarkable recovery and wanted to return to the field.

I thought about what sunglasses I had. I bought Oakleys after the guy got shot, but they broke. I had heavy Revos and new Nike running glasses that were lighter, but cover more of the eye. I will bring them both to Iraq in July.

June 9, 2006 3:04 p.m.

It was a 6:38 flight, and a half hour to the airport. I was leaving at three. Pontius was leaving at two-something. He was worse than I. Sometimes he wanted to get to the airport so early, he'd take a separate car.

It has been, so far, a day of remarkable eating that started with 32 ounces of grapefruit juice after an hour in the heat. The first 16 ounces were cold from the fridge, but the second half Oscar had to cut. Both were red — but the first half was colder. With the second half, you took a mouthful from the giant styrofoam cup and chewed a little, then looked into the pool of red where a seed was floating, then walked in the sun and felt it in every part of your mouth, tilting the cup again, it made you shake your head.

E-mail Harrigan

I'm sure that they sat down and said if Zarqawi dies then they would have replacements to take his place.

New York

What I have seen, heard, felt about what is going on in the Middle East and our own country scares the crap out of me. How many people like me have their noses to the grindstone, not even paying attention to what is going on in the world?


I was wounded and permanently disabled by an IED in Iraq. And I lost alot of friends... The other things I would like to say I won't. God Bless America....

SGT FG Ft Carson, CO

What happened to him [Zarqawi] should not make him a pseudo-hero. He is dead and the world can take him off the list of demented creatures As so often happens in situations such as this, he has become a media and political gold mine. Should we care when he died, how he died, what his face looked like. He is dead!

San Antonio, TX

This person offered nothing to the Iraqi people but death.


Let’s focus on Bin Laden...Let’s toe tag him as well.



Was watching ABC News about 4:30 a.m. and this girl was talking to an FBI guy about Zarqawi. She ask very seriously, if it would not have been better to capture him instead of killing him. Thinking we would get more info from interrogating him. I had to think is she serious? Did she not see him behead people at will? Does she not get the big picture?


My guess is many more will try and follow Zarqawi's example and make a name for themselves.

Atlanta, Georgia

Who knows what plans and instructions he may have left. A scary thought if you ask me.

Larisa in SC

Okay, but other than all this, he had a softer side that was never shown fairly.



We can only hope that the death of Zarqawi will make more of the regular Iraqis see that they have the power, if they have the courage to use it. It will be interesting to see if there is a spike in the number of people joining the Iraqi police force or the Iraqi army in the next few weeks. Eventually, they will have to be the ones to maintain freedom and peace. If they’re not willing to take it upon themselves, we’re all screwed.


You have to wonder if when he began the campaign to pit Sunni against Shiite that his days were numbered .... It was too blatant and intentional a plan of violence against Arabs for anyone to stand.

J Bradshaw
Orlando, Fl

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