About this blog

Blogging Baghdad aims to provide a dynamic look at the story behind the story of covering the news in Iraq. Online entries – from text to video blogs – will detail the realities of daily life for ordinary Iraqis, American troops and the media living and working in a 24 hour war zone.

Regular contributors include NBC News correspondents, producers and staff on assignment in Iraq.

Click here to read more about the journalists behind Blogging Baghdad.

Problems persist, even out of Iraq

The dangers are repeatedly mentioned. Iraqis working for Western organizations here face extreme risk of being abducted and murdered. They also cope with the daily unpredictability of getting to work in a city rife with suicide bombings, roadside bombs, mortar fire, militia-run checkpoints and reprisal killings.

As I've learned more about the ordeals of our local staff members, I've at least been reassured by the fact that the decent, Western pay most earn has allowed many of them to get their families to safer places outside of Baghdad. But like most everything else here, even that small consolation is elusive.


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Soldiers in Iraq respond to Bush's plan

Nn_engel_iraq_070110VIDEO: U.S. and Iraqi soldiers respond to President Bush's call for a surge of more troops in Iraq. NBC News' Richard Engel reports from Iraq.

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‘Surge’ echoes Afghanistan mission

Surge...escalation...plus-up... Whatever you call the "new way forward," when it comes to increasing U.S. troop levels and adjusting their mission, the Bush administration's new plan for Iraq takes a number of pages from an already familiar playbook. Are you ready for this? Afghanistan.

That's right, we have come full circle. The template didn't even begin to work in "the other war" until well into 2006 -- because it was so overshadowed by events in Iraq. Now the same ideas will be tried in an attempt to salvage a situation, in Iraq, that many analysts already see as unwinnable.


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One Iraqi family’s hope: security

Fatin Abid Muslim stirs a lump of lamb stewing on the stove. What does she want most for herself and her family? "Aman," is her one word response, meaning "security."

It's a word you hear a lot here now. She says she can deal with the hardship, the lack of water, electricity, and the rising prices -- but she's constantly fearful about her husband and five sons.

Her husband is a driver for a Baghdad hotel, a job that puts him constantly in harm's way. Streets are often blocked by militia checkpoints, car bombs targeting police and military vehicles.


VIDEO: Will a troop surge solve the Iraq crisis? NBC's Ned Colt reports.

It's not much better for her four children who still attend school. She says she shudders every time she hears the pop of gunfire or the rumble of a bomb -- daily occurrences here.

Shalaan Abdul Zahra, her husband, dismisses more American troops as the answer. "There are already more than 130,000 American soldiers here. And bringing in more tells the terrorists you're weak."

He suggests ramping up the training of Iraqi forces, so they can assume all security needs -- and "kick out the foreign fighters." What if more Americans come? "It will cost them more in lives and money," he said.

That’s just one opinion from the Iraqi Shiite street. Security may be the goal, but the means of achieving it remain agonizingly elusive.

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Slide Show

  • Life beyond the violence
    Suicide attacks and murders due to sectarian conflict continue around Iraq. See how residents live their lives amid the attacks.

More Conflict in Iraq coverage