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Iraq: An Indian's story

October 26, 2006
In his new book Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone , Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post's former Baghdad bureau chief, exposes just where and why America went wrong.

He spoke to Aseem Chhabra recently about life in the war-torn country, and how being an Indian American helped.

In October 2003, Rajiv Chandrasekaran was at the Baghdad Hotel, interviewing a member of what was then the Iraqi Governing Council, when a car bomb exploded outside. The force of the blast threw both of them to the ground. The politician injured his arm while his guards jumped on him and Chandrasekaran to protect them.

"The window behind me, if it hadn't been coated with Mylar (strong polyester film) three days earlier, I wouldn't have been here," says Chandrasekaran, currently an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post, as he nibbles on his breakfast of mixed berries and cappuccino at the W Hotel in Times Square, New York.

Chandrasekaran spent nearly two years in Iraq covering the war as chief of The Washington Post's bureau in Baghdad. He says Iraqis have a fond association with Indians through Bollywood movies.

Also See: Saddam in US net

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