I spent most of 2003 in Iraq covering the invasion for Harper’s Magazine and the CBC. I found this poster in the rubble of a Mukharbharat (Secret Police) training center in Baghdad, April 21, 2003. The Arabic text reads: “When interrogating a suspect, do not leave your gun, wallet, and I.D. card on the coffee table.” Ba’athist ideology in a nutshell.
Rummaging around one quiet afternoon at Baghdad International Airport (I’m a photographer for a company that’s working in Iraq), I went into an abandoned store and, naturally, started going through some of the drawers. Underneath a stack of year-old pita bread (very, very hard), I stumbled across a small stack of passport photos. There are two things strange about them. One, all the photos are of women. And two, every face has been scribbled on with a red ink pen. Very strange.