Author Essays, Interviews, and Excerpts, Politics and Current Events

How Baghdad has changed

Ashley Gilbertson, veteran NYT photographer and author of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Iraq War, was featured last Thursday along with first-time Iraq correspondent Campbell Robertson in a videocast for the Times Baghdad Bureau blog. In the video—illustrated with a selection of Gilbertson’s Baghdad photographs—the pair discuss the radical changes that have taken place in the city since the beginning of the conflict, noting a decrease in overall violence, the conversion of onetime insurgents into peace keepers, and, perhaps most conspicuously, the relative absence of U. S. troops patrolling the streets.
But while America seems to have been at least marginally successful in transforming the once horrendous conditions in Iraq’s capital, the war has also had a transformative effect on America, evidenced by the profound impacts it has had on the lives of all those who have been witness to its violence. For example, Gilbertson himself, who initially supported the war is now adamantly against it, as stated in this recent clip of the author speaking about the war and its often tragic effects on the lives of its veterans—a topic that Gilbertson says is the focus of a new project.
Also see this website for Gilbertson’s book featuring another video interview with the author.