Sitting beneath a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt pinned to the wall of his office deep inside a former Baathist presidential palace, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Stockmoe lolled back in his chair and roared with laughter at the fatal idiocy of so many of his enemies.
‘We’ve had well over a dozen examples of these knuckleheads doing stupid things,’ he chuckled. ‘Here’s a funny story. There were three brothers down in Baghdad who had a mortar tube and were firing into the Green Zone.
The election-night special on Iraqi TV, rather like the election itself, bore little resemblance to anything that British viewers might be familiar with. There were few candidates to interview (too scared), no counts to visit (too slow), and a merciful lack of macho electoral clichés. In Iraq, the terms ‘battleground seat,’ ‘war room’ and ‘political annihilation’ are not the concoctions of spin-doctors in suits trying to sound tough.