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Best Defense

Baghdad, April 2004

Rajiv and Anthony sipped good Scotch.


Rajiv and Anthony sipped good Scotch.

Outside, Black Hawks batted the night air,

Apaches pounded palm groves across the Tigris.


Mortar impacts marched toward us like malevolent giants,

Lethal versions of seven-league boots.


Rajiv and Anthony played Wilco endlessly:

War on War.The Ashes of American Flags. Jesus (Don’t Cry).

Each one, Rajiv said, was a chapter in this war.


Death slipped in, she killed the bottle.

Photo credit: Terissa Schor/Flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at Twitter: @tomricks1

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