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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!