Raid Night by Michael J. Totten - Read Online
Raid Night
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Award-winning foreign correspondent Michael J. Totten embeds with U.S. Army soldiers in Baghdad during the Surge. They were sent out as bait to lure an insurgent commander, but instead find themselves stalked in the dark by a shadowy faceless militia.

Michael J. Totten is a foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, City Journal, LA Weekly, The Jerusalem Post, Beirut's Daily Star, Reason, Azure, and the Australian edition of Newsweek. He is a contributing editor at City Journal and writes regularly for Commentary. He lives with his wife and two cats in Portland, Oregon, and is a former resident of Beirut. Visit his Web site at

Published: Belmont Estate Books on


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Raid Night - Michael J. Totten

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Two soldiers guarded the second suspect while the rest of us walked to the first suspect’s house and knocked hard on the door.

No one came to the door. A soldier banged on the door again with his fist. Open up! he yelled.

The residents of the house finally stirred. Faint shadows darkened the windows.

There are lots of people in there, someone said.

I stepped back, having no idea what to expect.

A large man wearing shorts and no shirt opened the door. An old man in a dishdasha stood behind him. They weren’t armed and didn’t seem threatening.

Salam aleikum, said the shirtless man.

Can we come in? said the soldier who knocked.

The shirtless beckoned us in, and so we went in.

Soldiers dispersed throughout the house and rounded up everyone—four men, three women, and two children—into one room. Everybody, soldiers and Iraqis alike, were mellow and cool. No