Larry Kaplow

Light-Up Saddam Available for Cheap

credit: Larry Kaplow Iraqis still nostalgic for Saddam Hussein--and you find them fairly often--have a secret way to sneak a peak at the old dictator. Cheap cigarette lighters on sale in his hometown Tikrit, apparently just in the last few months, have small flashlight projectors in the end that illuminate the leader in his classic poses.

War Years Take Their Toll

   He looked more than five years older, his face drawn and his once-considerable belly now barely noticeable. I think I was more thrilled to find him than he was to see me, there on the same street corner where we met in 2003 as American troops were pushing their way toward the capital from southern Iraq.

A Life in Exile

He supports the American occupation and says life has gotten better in Iraq. Still, he doesn't have enough faith to go home just yet.

Avoiding Ahmadinejad

Atta Kenare / AFP-Getty ImagesFrom Tehran to Baghdad: Ahmadinejadwill visit the Iraqi capital in MarchSo far U.S. officials say they won't be attending any events during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's planned visit to Baghdad March 2.

Ho, ho, ho. It's Santa Qusay

Iraqis and westerners alike were doing double-takes and reaching for their digital cameras Wednesday. A man dressed as Santa and riding a motor scooter zipped around the Green Zone, reaching into his bag to give candies and Arabic bibles to passersby.

Monster Truck

Judging from a recent ride through the Baghdad suburbs, the military's new MRAP will provide a protective yet bulky and bouncy alternative to the Humvee that has carried troops throughout of the war.

Secret Lives for Mixed Couples

They are engaged to be married, the soldier and the interpreter. But it's only when they are alone or among confidants that the bride-to-be calls her fiancé by his first name or, sometimes, "Habibi," the Arabic term of endearment for someone beloved.

Are Contractors Above the Law?

There's probably little legal clout to the Iraqi government's vow Monday to expel the security firm that protects American diplomats. But that should not diminish the importance of the incident the day before, in which eight Iraqi civilians were allegedly killed by diplomatic guards, or the ongoing controversy about the conduct of the U.S. Embassy's security force.

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