Letter From Baghdad: Oil But No Gasoline, Rivers But No Water

A year after winning back sovereignty, Iraqis have few reasons to smile

In Baghdad, you learn to savor small pleasures. When the weather turned unexpectedly cool one recent evening after a long sequence of 113°-plus days, people emptied out of their houses, braving the ever present threat of violence in order to enjoy a brief reprieve from the heat. As I stood in the front yard of TIME's Baghdad bureau, feeling the welcome breeze against my face, I asked my Iraqi colleague Harith if a sharp drop in temperature was common for the month of June. He shook his head. "This is a gift from our God," he said. "He knows many of...

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