by Emma Sky, Slate
As hard as I try to move beyond Iraq, the country still sucks me back. Last June, I tried to cut off completely, heading off on horse back into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. At one of the shepherds lodgings, I was surprised to find access to Wi-Fi. I connected my iPad to download my email and there in my inbox was an email from a U.S. general and a number of media requests for interviews. Mosul had been overrun by ISIS.
I could not stay away. I had to go back to see for myself what was happening. I had first gone to Iraq in 2003, when I responded to the British government’s request for volunteers to help rebuild the country after the fall of the regime and found myself responsible for Kirkuk, trying to diffuse tensions between the different Iraqis scrambling to control the province. During the surge and the drawdown of U.S. forces, I had served as the political adviser to Gen. Ray Odierno. I left with him in September 2010 but had been back to the country a couple of times every year since, unable to let go, unable to stop caring. Read the entire story.