Photos from Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
The California Literary Review, an online magazine, is running a great selection of photographs from Ashley Gilbertson’s recently published Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Iraq War. The photos are accompanied by a short essay by the author discussing how he wound up on assignment with the New York Times covering the battle of Falluja—one of the fiercest battles of the conflict:
In March 2004, four American contractors were ambushed in the center of Falluja, a city forty-three miles west of Baghdad. They were dragged from their cars, beaten, and their bodies burnt.… Back in Iraq, furious Marine generals who were supposedly in control of Falluja promised swift vengeance and on April 4 attacked the city with everything they had. Hundreds of Iraqis were killed in a week of intense urban combat.…
My rotation had finished and I was at the bureau packing to leave the country when a scramble ensued to get someone from the paper to cover the battle from the frontlines. Times higher-ups contacted generals and politicians, and eventually we were given two… slots, one of them mine. I repacked my bags, this time including body armor and equipment I needed to file my photos under battle conditions. A few hours Later I boarded an aircraft bound for the dusty Camp Falluja five miles east of the city.
You can find the rest of the article and the accompanying photos online at the California Literary Review website. Also see the website for the book featuring a fascinating video interview with the author discussing his experiences as a war photographer in Iraq.