Iraq-Unembedded-Sunday Review 10 years on.

Difficult to believe it was ten years ago. I got a phone call whilst on a job at The High Court in The Strand. Did I want to go to Iraq ? It was Thursday and I had to leave on Sunday. In seven days time the deadline for Iraq was going to be up and the war was going to start. I had to get my kit together. My G3 Mac didn’t have connectivity for a Satellite Phone so I had to swap with one of the other Telegraph Photographers. I had to get a Satellite phone and get it working . I had to pick up a Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) warfare suit. I had to tell Mrs M. The whole process of travelling to the zone took over every moment of my life.

The call had come quite late. Most newspapers already had people in position. Some were in Baghdad some had been embedded with British forces and there was also a contingent languishing in Kuwait, this was where I was heading to. Most of them had been out there for weeks covering the build up of troops and preparing to follow them into Iraq when the invasion happened. We’d had a two man team in place but at the last minute our photographer had been moved to an embedded position. There was nobody left to ask so they asked me. I’ve always believed that with jobs like this you should wait to be asked mainly because then you go on ‘your’ terms. If you chomp at the bit you end up going on someone else’s terms. The problem with this tactic is that people get the impression you don’t actually want to go. To be honest I’m not sure even now if I really wanted to go, but as Mrs M pointed out I’d be a bloody nightmare if I didn’t.

Telegraph journalist Patrick Bishop was awaiting my arrival, he’d hired a diesel Toyota Landcruiser and filled it with supplies and kit. All I had to do was land in Kuwait, get accredited with NATO and link up with Patrick. Simple enough you’d think but you’d be wrong. Kuwait City is very near to the Iraq border and since Gulf War 1 there had been a ‘De-militarised Zone’ (DMZ) in place between the two countries. There is a main motorway that runs from the city straight into Iraq. However this road has police checkpoints on it and the police didn’t want a load of journalists wandering around near the border. Whilst I was preparing to leave London Patrick had organised a meeting with all our British colleagues and had suggested a plan. He believed, and Evening Standard journalist Keith Dovecants who was teamed up with my mate photographer Cavan Pawson agreed with him that as the deadline drew nearer it would become increasingly difficult to move in and out of the city. His plan was to head out towards the DMZ sooner rather than later. He figured the Police would start to lock-down access and that once they did so everyone would be stuck in Kuwait City. It was a good idea but it did mean leaving the comfort of the hotel a lot earlier than most considered necessary. The other problem was that I wasn’t with him yet. How, if he had the vehicle, was I supposed to hook up with him when he was hiding out in the countryside ? He couldn’t wait because he didn’t want to be stranded in the city. Patrick left on Sunday whilst I was in the air. Keith and Cavan went along in their 4×4 too. The other British press fellows decided to wait a while longer.

Unbeknownst to me we had another reporter in the area. Jack Fairweather who was also in hiding beyond the Police checkpoints. Jack got sent back to Kuwait City to collect me. He wasn’t very happy. The Police had began stopping non military vehicles and it was touch and go. We waited on the hard shoulder then tagged onto a convoy of Landrovers. Nobody batted an eye as we swept past the checkpoint. We headed to a farm where the others were and that was it. I was there. I think it was an olive farm. There were rows upon rows of high bushes and the two cars were hidden from the road. Cavan was digging a hole. A ‘Shell Scrape’. Somewhere to dive if we came under attack. I found this a little alarming.

We stayed on ‘Abdali Farm’ for one night. Someone found us there the next night and we had to do a runner. We were whizzing around where we were not meant to be. There were only Police and military on the roads we were certain we were going to get busted back to Kuwait City unless we found somewhere to hide. We spotted a load of cars parked just off the main road and thought we could hide amongst them. We drove into the car park and only when we were in the middle did we realise all the cars were police cars. We left very quickly. If we carried on like this we would definitely get caught. We pulled off the road into a complex of buildings which we established was some kind of chicken factory. There was nobody about and it offered some cover from the road so we settled in. The next morning when the workers turned up we had to re-think. They weren’t very happy. Then something strange happened. A very authoritative chap turned up. The others were garbling away to him but he just waved them off. He came over and introduced himself. He was the owner of the factory and felt obliged to help us. He got us to follow him in convoy to his house were he told us we could have showers and relax whilst he got someone to make us some food. Sounds very strange but it’s not really. Hospitality is a very important thing to Muslims. As the afternoon slid into evening we were fed and comfortable. He’d allowed us to set up camp in his lounge and we were safe in the knowledge that we wouldn’t be found here. We were also right up by the DMZ and it was Thursday night . The deadline was about to run out and we were curious whether the bombardment would be visible.

Our host turned out to be Kuwait’s version of Colonel Sanders with stores throughout the whole country. He was and hopefully still is a top bloke.

As the deadline passed the bombardment started. Keith and Patrick using their image intensifier binoculars started waxing lyrical about the night sky being lit up by it all. Cavan and I did a four minute exposure on our cameras and still couldn’t see a thing. We tried to explain to them that you couldn’t say the sky was lighting up when you were using those binoculars but they wouldn’t listen.

Keith and Patrick had retired to their sleeping bags in the lounge and Cav and I were outside. I think I was having a smoke. You could still hear the bombing but it all sounded like it was outgoing.

Just to interrupt the narrative for a moment it’s important to point out something about the whole weapons of mass destruction issue. Before “sexing up the dossier” entered our lexicon it was generally believed that Saddam did indeed posses chemical and biological weapons which he was going to use on us when we invaded. We believed it was going to happen. We’d been on courses to teach us what to do when we came under ‘Gas’ attack. We were carrying drugs to be injected if nerve gas was suspected. The most important lesson was speed. You had to get into your NBC suit and get your mask on pronto or you were going to die a very painful death with melting skin that would make Freddy Kruger look like Brad Pitt. If you thought you’d got a whiff of gas you immediately screamed “GAS GAS GAS” this warned those around you and also expelled the possibly contaminated air that was in your lungs. You didn’t breath again until the mask was on. Then you got your suit on. You always carried your mask and you were never too far away from your suit.

Anyway back to Colonel Sanders and  KFC.

So there was I listening to not too distant bombs heading out when Cav who was stood on a little mound nearby called me over “Ed..” he said “Can you smell something funny..?” “GAS GAS GAS” was what I was expecting. We then heard the whistle of a shell (probably outgoing) and hit the panic button. All hell broke loose. We were all running around getting our kit on and reloading stuff into the cars to make a getaway. We thought we were under gas attack. We must’ve looked a right bunch of Charlies, stomping around our host’s lounge all dressed in masks and NBC suits as we bundled kit into bags. He just watched us. He didn’t have a mask or a suit. We wanted him to come with us but he explained he had workers to look after. We left him to it and screeched away from his house back towards Kuwait City. We planned to stay this side of the police but not quite as close to the border just to be on the safe side. We finished the night in a lay-by next to a mini-mart. The following day we stayed moving, checking out some of the smaller roads that went over the border. We got a very distant glimpse of some tanks firing into Iraq but it was slim pickings. We did however bump into an MOD Press Officer who was very surprised to see us. He asked us to meet up with him later and Patrick smelled a rat. We disappeared and hid with the vehicles behind some buildings, we figured that our ‘friend’ was off to get reinforcements and that he’d be sending us back to Kuwait City . We spent Friday night back at the lay-by. The following morning ‘Glenn’ turned up.

Glenn was an Aussie who told us he managed a farm up near the DMZ. He suggested we go with him to the farm because we were too in the open and likely to get lifted. He offered us food and showers ( I was starting to worry that the Lynx deodorant really wasn’t up to the job in hand). He said he was interested in getting over the border and knew some routes in, could he hitch a ride. It was all a bit strange. We were convinced he must be a spook or something. So late on the Saturday morning with our new friend we went sniffing around some back roads.We did the classic manouvre of tagging onto the back of a convoy which took us through the sand with visibility diminishing behind the clouds thrown up by all the trucks. The next thing we knew there was a sign saying welcome to Iraq and we were in.

We were convinced that we’d be propping up the bar at the Basra Sheraton that evening. We’d even tried calling it to book rooms. Our two car convoy got on the main highway and we stopped now and then to take a few frames of the military pressing into the country. We saw some Iraqi soldiers being held behind barbed wire. We saw some injured civilians and we saw lots of tanks. We were heading on the main road into Basra with Keith and Cav leading. We were having to drive very carefully there was shrapnel all over the tarmac. We reached a clearer part of the road and sped up. Then, for no apparent reason and much to the annoyance of Patrick, Keith slowed down and pulled off the road we stopped behind them. Patrick jumped out demanding to know why we’d stopped, Keith just answered “It doesn’t feel right”. It was then that we realised we hadn’t seen any NATO troops for ages. We found out later that this had been the road Terry Lloyd had been killed on that same day.

As darkness approached we needed somewhere safe to bed down, we’d got separated from Cav and Keith as we tried find the right direction to head in. There was still a lot of fighting going on and we didn’t want to get kidnapped or worse. The British Army came to the rescue. The Royal Logistics Corp were setting up a base and they let us in . We found a spot and to our delight Cav and Keith had got there ahead of us. Cav told me Dan Chung from The Guardian was embedded with the Corp as was a team from The Press Association. Jeremy Thompson and his crew from Sky were set up here too.

We had a base but we stuck with our sleeping arrangements. We slept in the cars taking turns between the two vehicles to put Glenn up. Patrick Bishop is a top fella and he’s the only man I’ve ever spent that much time in that close proximity to. We were a bit of an odd couple and I can’t say we didn’t have the occasional word…mainly wind related, but sleeping eating and working with someone 24/7 for a month is a hell of a test, especially when you sleep only a foot apart. Cav and Keith were having the same kind of relationship. Cav and I did both feel like schoolboys with our grown ups telling us what to do, but to be fair they’d both done a lot more of this than us. On day one we came across some burnt out tanks and APC’s with shed loads of rockets and other ordinance. We hadn’t taken a picture worth sending yet so we went to town. We climbed all over the place. It was only when Keith and Patrick started shouting like mad at us about booby-traps that we realised how stupid we’d been. We could’ve been blown to pieces, it was really really stupid.

For the first couple of days we were finding our feet and never really got any nearer to the Basra Sheraton. The main road to the town was blocked. Glenn kept on disappearing. Cav and I did discover something though. Our corner of The British Army in Iraq was also an evacuation point for casualties. The injured were brought in by road and flown out from our base by helicopter. When we heard one coming in we would take a wander down to the landing zone and take some pictures. The first time we did it someone turned up and told us we couldn’t. Apparently embedded journalists were not allowed to take pictures there. We explained we weren’t embedded and they said “Oh, OK go ahead then”. Dan was with us and he was embedded, he couldn’t take any pictures, he had to just watch us work.

We were all parked up together in a clearing, us, Sky and the embeds. It was right next to an enormous hole in the ground, big enough to fit a bus in. It was a well with a path running round the inside of the wall, apparently for people to walk their donkeys down to collect water. It made a great ‘shell scrape’ but you wouldn’t want to fall down it during the night if you went out for a pee.

Our toilet was another hole in the ground. If you had a poo you buried it. As a few more journalists, French, Italian, American and others turned up and as the army settled into it’s camp a new toilet regime came in. After the French (allegedly) started pooing in the Donkey well a missive went out. We now had to poo into a bag and then, wait for it, hand the bag over to one of the soldiers who had been given the task of collecting the bags piling them up and at the end of each day burning the pile. Christ knows what you had to do to upset the powers that be enough to be given that duty, but it truly was a shit job.When they got a bit more established the army brought in their ‘Thunderboxes’. If you can imagine a box a bit like a central casting pirate’s treasure chest but with an arse sized hole cut in the lid and no bottom then you’ll be in the right ballpark. The box is set up with some tarpaulin staked out around it like a windbreak on a British beach. They dig a deep trench and place the box over it. When it piles up underneath they move the box further along the trench, burying as they go. One morning Dan was using the facility when the wind picked up and tore the tarpaulin down whilst a queue of squaddies watched. I still don’t know why he told us about it because we never let him forget about it.

One of the other advantages (apart from the fantastic bathroom facilities) of being under the wing of the army was that they had a far more sophisticated attack warning system. We could stop relying on Cav saying he’d smelt something strange, which, considering our diet, was all the time. Problem was they were a lot quicker to sound the siren so we were forever getting in and out of our NBC suits and masks. Glenn was living with Patrick and I now and he had no kit like this. The alarm went off one night and Patrick and I got kitted up. Glenn was sat in the back just looking at us. We tried to scavenge some kit for him but we never really managed to. He sloped off after a couple of days and the next we saw of him he had got a contract to drive water tankers into Basra. This was before it had fallen. He was getting further in than the British Army. It just enforced our idea he was a spook. He did however have an official license for this work which allowed him back and forth over the border back to Kuwait and he repaid our lift by bringing us occasional supplies. We of course did not have the freedom to go back and forth and there were no shops to buy food. We ran down to the minimum. We could always get water from our army friends as we could fuel. It was a case of swapping a go on the sat-phone for what we needed. This was the main reason why Patrick had spent so long getting a diesel vehicle. With Kuwait being an oil rich country there is really no need for diesel cars. Diesel is economical but when fuel is cheaper than water economy is not a consideration. Patrick knew the army runs on diesel and if we were going to get re-fills when our reserves ran out we needed a diesel car. When Glenn’s re-supplies ran out we were back to begging food off the army or off our embedded colleagues. It’s the only time in my life I’ve been hungry and it wasn’t nice. We had a couple of days when we had nothing to cook. We had biscuits but not much else. The feeling stays in my mind to this day. I remember once when we’d not had anything hot for two days when I was elected to cadge some ration packs off Dan. Dan wasn’t having a great time photographically, his minders were refusing to take him off the base without an armoured vehicle. He kept pointing us out and saying we didn’t have an armoured car and were doing fine but the army wasn’t taking chances with its embeds. I went to Dan to get some ration packs. I’ve known Dan for years and we got chatting. He was telling me about the discussions he’d had with his desk that day but all I could think about was food. I remember trying to end the conversation and get back to him giving us some of his ration packs … all I could think about was eating. He kept us fed. Thanks Dan. On the subject of food one incident always sticks in my head. It was after a Glenn re-supply but towards the end of what he’d brought us. Cav and I shared a tin of Fray Bentos corned beef  and a tin of beans. We had half each and I can remember Cav finishing his plate and all he said was “that was ‘andsome”. If anyone ever asks me to name the best meal in my life it is that one. Glenn’s supplies came in handy for other things too. Patrick, Keith and Jeremy from Sky all old hands at this sort of thing made friends with the Commanding Officer (CO) at the base we were staying on. He knew we weren’t meant to be there but he loved having the ear of respected journalists that he’d actually heard of. He also liked the strawberries and bananas that he got when Glenn re supplied us. He also seemed to take offence when our MOD Press Officer (that we’d bumped into by the DMZ) came calling with a plan to relocate us all back to Kuwait. He called us all into his tent and explained that the following day we should make ourselves scarce from sunrise to sunset. We could come back just before nightfall. We did as we were told. By this time a few other journalists (no Brits) had turned up and set up tents in our clearing. These journalists were rounded up by the MOD and taken back to Kuwait. We went back to a much quieter base that evening. The Army later moved to the old Basra airport and we moved with them. The MOD chap was still looking for us and by all accounts getting angrier and angrier. The C.O gave us some camouflage netting to hide our cars … not from Iraqis but from the MOD chap.

The alarms still went off on a regular basis. One night the bells went off and Patrick and I got suited up in the Toyota. We sat there in our masks for about thirty minutes. We never heard the ‘All Clear Bell’. Eventually Patrick lost his temper and took his off  “I’d rather  die” was his refrain. I was less brave. He sent me out to find out if the all clear had in fact been sounded. Dan’s car was nearby. You have to bear in mind that when it went dark you went to bed. There was no light whatsoever allowed unless you had a small red reading light. We had torches but you got massively bollocked if you shed any light after sundown. When it got light you got up. Anyway I wandered over to Dan’s 4×4, he had the luxury of sleeping in his own car by himself. It was pitch dark and I looked in his window to see if he was suited up. He was sat there with his head-torch on eating his dinner. I knocked on the window and he turned towards me. His torch lit up a gas-masked face at his window and he went into meltdown. His dinner went all over his face and his windscreen as he scrambled for his Gas mask. I was knocking shouting in a mask muffled voice “ISSTHEALLCLEARBINCALLEDDAN”. Oh how we laughed.

Photographically Cav and I were doing well. We’d found a route to a bridge into Basra. It was the main drag and people were fleeing the fighting over it. We started to get our pictures and they started to publish. The other chaps from the Kuwait camp were stuck on the wrong side of the border. Keith and Patrick had been right, the police had slammed the checkpoints down and they couldn’t get through whilst we were publishing. They did get through eventually but we’d definitely stole a march on them.

The bridge was called Bridge 4. One day I was joined on it by Odd Anderson a colleague from AFP. We wandered over the bridge with some other photographers. The general rule was you went as far as the last British tank. They didn’t stop you going further but it really wasn’t a good idea. A team from The Times and The Daily Mail had driven past and got their cars shot up.Mostly it was best to stay the other side. On this occasion we got mortared. I was further up than I’d been before with Odd and a few other photographers. In the middle of the road, maybe twenty yards away, there was a dull thud and some mud got thrown up. The mid ground between the two carriageways was muddy beyond belief. It had rained heavily, so much so we’d done a weather picture in the base the day before. Thankfully the mud soaked up the explosion. To be honest I didn’t have a clue what had just happened. I stood there thinking “what the Feck was that?” People started diving for cover. I was next to a young Swiss photographer and we were near the back of a British Army Warrior armoured vehicle. We both jumped in the Warrior and we both got kicked out. The Irish Guards were in there and I actually remember shouting at them that I was Irish. Another round landed in the mud. I jumped into the ditch at the side of the road with my new Swiss mate. I was still confused but started to take pictures of the people in the ditch. It published on the front next day. My Swiss friend’s friend, who turned out to be a founder of the Vll Photo-agency Antonin Kratochvil, arrived with a car and we jumped in and got the hell out of there. I bumped into Odd further down the road and he told me how that bridge had been unlucky for him. He’d got mortared on it this time and during the previous Gulf war he’d been kidnapped on it. I explained I wouldn’t be walking over it with him ever again.

We were mortared on Bridge 4 on two more occasions one of which saw Jeremy Thompson’s producer wounded by shrapnel. It was a very slight wound. So slight that I was jealous that he’d get to go home and I was looking at weeks more of this shit.

It all sounds a bit easier than it was. It was very hot and we were wearing body armour and helmets. We must’ve hummed because we weren’t really washing much. Cav and Keith had a petrol 4×4. When their reserves ran out they had to head back over the border. They refuelled but it took them 4 attempts to get back in and involved them driving over ‘Burms’ (massive sand dunes like hills) . Cav told me when he got back that he’d had a shower and then a bath and then another shower and had only just started to get the filth off. What with the dirt and the lack of food, not to mention the fact we couldn’t get a drink it was definitely not a holiday. The only good thing was the sleeping. It got dark at about 5.30pm and got bright about 5am. There was nothing to do during those hours so you slept. In a place like that you really sleep. I expect it’s a combination of several thing. It’s dark and there is no artificial light, but the main thing is you really don’t have any worries whilst you are there. You don’t have money worries. You just live day by day. Your brain (well mine did) just blocks everything else out. I had my digital compact Ixus with me. I’d look at pictures of my family each night on it whilst I had my last fag of the day. It packed in about two weeks in and it left me with nothing. I’ve never slept again like I did out there. Twelve hours and then a few more at lunch-time when the temperature got right up. Lovely. It was bloody hard on your kit too. Everything got coated in sand. Not sand like you get on Margate beach. It was more like talcum powder and it got everywhere. I was shooting on a Nikon D1x and swapping lenses from a bum-bag. It all coped well. Some of the files are a bit dotted with sensor dust but nothing you can’t heal. At least it was only sand I had to contend with, Paul Grover had been embedded with British troops and at some point his APC had been hit by a rocket. He pulled out a couple of days later and returned to London. He had a couple of days off then got sent to Canada to cover a North Pole expedition. On the way to one of his connecting flights in Canada they tested his bag for explosives (that swab thing you get at Heathrow now and then) and all the alarms went off. He got banged up and missed the flight, everything he had with him in the APC had explosive residue on it. They let him out eventually.

Basra still hadn’t fallen but news was coming in from elsewhere. Whilst Keith and Cav went back to change cars we had a couple of expeditions away from Basra. We popped down to Umm Qasar. The major port in the south. It was described by a radio 4 journalist as a bit like Southampton. They interviewed a squaddie expecting him to confirm the Southampton comparison he replied “You can’t get a drink, the women aren’t interested and the men want to kill you … it’s more like Portsmouth” class. Someone fired a rocket at us on the road. It missed by so much that we barely saw it or heard it. We also tried to get to Fallujah. The Americans blocked us and then threatened to kill us. They trained their guns on our car and I reckon it was the closest we came to dying during the whole conflict.

We’d made a friend or two at the base with our Sat phone, with our occasional fresh fruit delivery and just with our conversation. There was one sergeant called Pete, a Scotsman. Top bloke. As mad as it sounds what with all the kit I had, I’d gone out there without a helmet. We made some inquiries with Pete he said someone would come and see us and a squaddie with a spare helmet turned up. The squaddie got to ring his Mrs and got 4 bananas. A refill for the Toyota cost about 5 bananas.

The other Brits turned up on Bridge 4 eventually. They were living far more precariously than we were. Our CO wasn’t letting anyone else on the base. We bumped into Sun photographer Phil Hannaford and he mentioned a place that could provide us with a well deserved drink. We’d been dry for about a month. Alcohol was available in Iraq but not allowed in Kuwait. We had to head back down the road to Kuwait. Just before the border town was a farm with the only yellow JCB in southern Iraq. We had to ask for Ali. We never went, we still hadn’t got into Basra.

Basra was our endgame. When the other Brit journalists caught up with us Patrick became anxious that they would get in before us. They tried and got shot up. We tried one day and had to turn back. The next day we went in. We whizzed around from prisons to hospital to high streets. We’d finally got in. The Sheraton was looted to death so we headed back to the Army base. Up until now we’d got up every morning and decided on the day what we were going to do/report/shoot. The morning after getting into Basra was the first time the Picture Desk started telling me what I should be doing…it was time to leave.

Patrick had been teasing me for days. One day he’d say we should knock it on the head, the next day he’d say we should head for Baghdad. I’d set my heart on staying and moving up north to cover the end of the regime, but when the offer of an early cut was mooted I started to set my heart on that instead. He went back and forth day after day. I was going mental. In the end we made a decision. We realised we were not going to reach Baghdad before it fell. We decided to go back. We’d finished.

Sergeant Pete had helped us out many a time. We’d shared what we had with him and he’d done the same. Cav and I had the address of the farm we could get some drink from. Patrick and I were going home, we’d decided. We went to the ‘Off License’ it was on the road to Safwan. Simple enough mission?  Safwan was very anti British Army. Cav and I didn’t know how far into Safwan we would have to go. The locals there had been stoning coalition vehicles. We had to be careful. We got full Kevlared up. We drove to the farm we’d been directed to. We drove in and were met by a pick-up truck full of Iraqis. A fella came over and asked us what we wanted. We asked for Ali, they looked blankly at us. There was a yellow JCB there though. We drove out thinking we’d f**ked up. The pick-up followed us. We went down the road and the truck was following us. We pulled over. The truck stopped behind us. Cav was driving he looked at me and said “What the f**k are we going to do?” I watched the driver from the pick-up get out and walk toward us. I wound the window down an inch. What protection I thought leaving the glass up could do is beyond me. The man walked up and bent down to the gap, he said “You want whiskey ?” We said no we wanted wine and beer, he said OK and went back to his car. He left someone with us and returned 15 minutes later with 3 bottles of whiskey. We paid him and raced back to the base. When we walked in Keith quipped “I bet that’s the first time you’ve worn a bullet proof jacket to the Off License” I replied “No Keith, I live in Peckham.” We gave one of the bottles to Sergeant Pete and drank the rest.

We bailed out the next day. Cav had been told to meet up with another Standard reporter but Keith joined myself and Patrick on the route home. Cav joined us 24 hours later when his reporter couldn’t liase with him. We drove back through Safwan and I had my whole Brit Army uniform on to make the locals think we were top brass in the hope they would let us pass. Either way the locals refrained from chucking rocks at us and we got back to the hotel intact.

We watched the fall of Baghdad that night on the tv. We wouldn’t have made it in time. We’d made the right call.

Going to war is an interesting thing. The term ‘going to war’ is very evocative. My eldest brother, who drives a bus for a living when he’s not being a union rep, said to me when I came back “that must’ve been great, going to war?” I never really thought of it like that but he has a point. It’s a bit of a game changer for life. He saw it as a rite of passage that he’d been denied. He thought I was lucky because I got to go and test my nerve and I kind of see his point. I suppose confronting death head on makes you feel like you have an element of control over it, you don’t obviously. But people do it again and again. Not just us, people are drawn to wars like moths to a flame. It is exciting, getting shot at or being mortared is exciting. But it’s also lethal. Problem is, humans can’t always marry the two up.

I’ve stepped away from conflict. I have small children to worry about. I’m not saying I’d never go back though. It was very interesting after all …

Here are my pictures.


DTEM-21/03/03-GULF.<br /><br /><br /><br />

About eddiemulh

News Photographer for The Daily Telegraph and former Vice Chairman of The British Press Photographer's Association.
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5 Responses to Iraq-Unembedded-Sunday Review 10 years on.

  1. Jane Mulholland says:

    The more I look at these photographs the more I see, beautiful.

  2. Rapey Rob says:

    What a great set of images. Thankyou for sharing

  3. heathcliff says:

    a great read Eddie

  4. cavan pawson says:

    well done matee

    It seems like yesterday to me corned beef for dinner tonight!!!!!


  5. Great stuff Eddie. I remember seeing those published-brilliant to hear the stories behind them.

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