Partytime in Ramadi

Peter Carlson scans through the magazines for the Washington Post and finds an article in the Virginia Quarterly Review by David J. Morris, a marine veteran turned journalist/college teacher. Morris returned to Ramadi in October. The reception he got this time around was quite different from the first time he arrived in the summer of 2006,

He was mobbed by Iraqis. But this time they weren’t trying to kill him, they were trying to sell him bars of Dove soap. Street vendors in Ramadi? It blew his mind. For years, Ramadi vied with Fallujah as the toughest, deadliest hellhole in Iraq and now, Morris writes in a brilliant piece in the Virginia Quarterly Review, you can walk the streets like a tourist, fearing only “the platoons of vendors assaulting you.” “Back [in the summer of 2006],” he writes, “you couldn’t be seen on the street without snipers opening up on you from the labyrinth of half-rubbled buildings that made up the city, you couldn’t breathe without sucking down somebody else’s fear; the days were hot and dirty, the nights a looping soundtrack of AK fire and mortar rounds.” link