War on the Doorstep

Scenes from the daily life of a battleground.

In The Way Of War


April 06, 2003

As members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines push their way north in Iraq, they pass through villages where their tanks and assault vehicles encounter shepherds and grazing sheep. As shown in these photographs by The Sun's John Makely -- who with staff correspondent John Murphy is traveling with the battalion's India Company -- the battalion sometimes takes up residence with mud-brick homes and herds of goats. In towns like Diwaniyah and villages like Shumulli, the Marines are at once alert for battle and aiming to spread goodwill, armed with food, water and medicine as well as guns. They wonder if the shy farmers or the needy townspeople are friend or foe; the Iraqis wonder if their visitors are liberators or conquerors. "It's a very strange world," Makely says, with an occasional pleasant surprise. "Toward the end of one humanitarian mission, the owner of a house next to the Marines' encampment brought out bags of warm, homemade bread, which was incredible. Here the Marines are, out to help the needy, and they end up getting a free meal themselves."

For more photos from Iraq by Sun photographers John Makely

and Elizabeth Malby, go online to www.SunSpot.net / warphotos.

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