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The Sleeper
Summer of Deliverance
Innocent Blood
With the Contras

Articles and Columns


The Shadowland Link: dickey.newsweek.msnbc.com should take you to the new column every week.

Shadowland: 20-20 Foresight
Iraq is headed toward civil war. What happens if an administration that refused to recognize important risks in the past continues to set the agenda for the future?

Live Talk: Hybrid Power
From hybrid mass transit to the hottest in green gizmos, Christopher Dickey discussed the latest in the hybrid thought revolution.

Live Talk: "The Sleeper"

Shadowland: Poisoning Patriotism
The dean of American historians, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., fires a broadside at the Bush administration

Shadowland: Frequently Unasked Questions
How do we know when the war on terror is over? Why have our early victories become so much less than the sum of their parts? And why isn’t Kerry pressing for answers?

Unearthing The Bible
Sacred relics lie scattered beneath the deserts of the Middle East. In Iraq, our religious history is being obliterated; in Israel, it's a question of faith.

Shadowland: Italy's Sleeper Cells
The threat of an Al Qaeda attack there is real—and growing

Shadowland: Buyer Beware
Ahmad Chalabi is treated like a scapegoat by the Bush administration. But as Washington pushes him away, Tehran appears happy to receive him.

Shadowland: A Clockwork Orange Alert?
The timing of the arrests in Pakistan and the alerts in the United States continue to raise questions about the politics of terror

Shadowland: October Surprises
Conspiracy theories aside, the weeks before the American election are likely to be very dangerous in Iraq.

Shadowland: Hizzoner the Mayor
One of the many fathers of the Iraqi atomic bomb (almost) has the job of restoring Baghdad to greatness as a world capital

The Chirac Doctrine
France gives the nod to Turkish membership in the European Union. What is Paris up to?

Shadowland: Politics, Iraqi Style
The new government may be blustering and brutal. But at least it's focusing on the issues that matter

Shadowland: The Saddam Files (II): Sickening Cynicism
The new Iraqi government is learning from the White House. When it talks about the rule of law, it really means the rule of lawyers

The Middle East: The Cash Haven
Arab markets are booming, and financiers say the money is coming home from post-9-11 America

Shadowland: Dictator-in-Waiting?
Iraq’s new prime minister will do whatever needs doing to impose order on the current chaos. Let’s not pretend he’s a nascent democrat

Shadowland: The Saddam Files (I)
Is there credible evidence tying Hussein to 9/11? Absolutely not. Were there good reasons to worry about his links to radical Islamists. Yes, indeed.

Shadowland: Tracking Terror
For most Americans, the 9/11 attacks came out of the blue. But the commission's report shows that the threat was right in front of their eyes for almost a decade

Egypt: Key to the Mideast
If the G8 nations really want to spread reform throughout the region, they should look first to Cairo

Shadowland: Shock Therapy
Bush finally seems to have come to his senses about co-operating with the United Nations. But will the lucidity last?

Shadowland: The Last Roll Call
American soldiers in Iraq have been put in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. But like any G.I. Joe in World War II, they’re making the best of a bad situation

The Wars Through Arab Eyes
The 'road to Jerusalem'—and Mideast peace—was supposed to lead through Baghdad. But now Arabs see two occupations: one Israeli, one American. Written with Josh Hammer and Richard Wolffe.

The Rise and Fall of Chalabi: Bush's Mr. Wrong
Ahmad Chalabi may go down as one of the great con men of history. But his powerful American friends are on the defensive now, and Chalabi himself is under attack. (I made a fairly minor contribution to this story, mostly arguing that Chalabi is being blamed for precisely those attributes that originally made him so attractive to the Bush administration.)

'But You Don't Fall Down'
Iraq. EU expansion. Transatlantic rift. Romano Prodi has been in the midst of it. His hopes and fears for the future

Shadowland: From Eden to Armageddon
Jordan’s King Abdullah may be one of the few voices of reason that George W. Bush really hears

Shadowland: The Iraqi Horror Picture Show
Managing information and uncovering facts are two very different things

Shadowland: Points of No Return
The Bush administration’s decisions in the Middle East are as irreversible as they are disastrous. But being president means never having to say you’re sorry

Another Kind of Warrior
Saudi television personality Rania al-Baz was beaten unconscious. Then she did the unthinkable: she spoke out

Shadowland: Acting Local, Impacting Global
No conflict that touches on Israel or Islam can be contained any longer in one country or one region

Shadowland: Indecent Interval
It won't be enough to declare victory and pull out of Iraq, and a solution to this crisis won't wait for the U.S. elections. It's time for Kerry and Bush to talk.

Shadowland: Talking Points
Raw force won’t end the Shiite rebellion. Negotiations might

Has the War Made Us Safer?
New Threats: Iraq has become a savage battleground—part of the world's first global insurgency. Time is running short to fix that.

New York Times Book Review: "In the Company of Soldiers"

Shadowland: How (Not) to Win
Richard Clarke’s new book is about more than the Bush administration’s handling of 9/11. It offers a thoughtful guide to the nuts and bolts of eliminating terrorists—and an antidote to the assumption that extremist violence is inevitable

From 9/11 to 3/11
Coordinated bomb attacks in Spain—a stalwart American ally—kill 200 people on passenger trains and raise new fears of Qaeda-style terror assaults.

Shadowland: Blood and Money
In Libya and Iraq, Washington set out to teach terrorists a lesson. It should have learned

France: The Return of Hate
Anti-Semitism, fueled by an angry minority, is on the rise. But the real problem is that no one seems to care. [Reporting by Marie Valla and Eric Pape made this story especially strong.]

Shadowland: The Shadow of a Doubt
Were the Libyans really behind Lockerbie? It's possible we'll never know—and that's the kind of terror that can haunt us saforever. [The first of two columns on Lockerbie.]

Iraq: Shiites Unbound
George H.W. Bush feared the rise of Shiite power in Iraq, and worried that civil war would shatter the country. That's why he didn't topple Saddam. So what has changed? [The opening scene takes place at the precise site where suicide bombers struck a few days later. In the international editions of Newsweek, the latter half of this story had a different focus.]

The Master Operator
You might think Ahmad Chalabi is discredited and despised. But he's still growing more powerful.

Shadowland: A (Terrorist's) Letter from Iraq. The so-called Zarqawi Memo may or may not be genuine, but it's a revealing picture of Iraq right now

Shadowland: Good Cop, Bad Cop. Why it made sense to threaten unilateral war in Iraq, but not to wage it

Shadowland: Tinker, Tailor, Jurist, Spy. When it came to invading Iraq there were none so blind as those who would not see.

Shadowland: Dick Cheney in the Hot Seat. The Vice President may want to talk about the war on terror. But Davos wants to hear about Middle East peace.

The Iraq Effect. The war may have sparked some positive changes in the region, but a genuine transformation still looks to be elusive.

Shadowland: Learning from the Pros. Old enemies talk about Washington's new wars.

Shadowland: The Year of Living Obliviously. How long will reporting on Iraq be worth the risks?

From 2003:

Shadowland: Saddam's Mojo. The capture of the dictator is a milestone, but it hasn't generated the shock and awe that the White House would have liked.

Trying Iraq's War Crimes. The reckoning: The Americans want to get good intelligence from Saddam. Many Iraqis want to kill him. In the end, nothing will be more crucial than to air the whole truth about his atrocities.

Iraq's Mr. Cellophane. Mowaffak Al-Rubaie: Soft-spoken, bespectacled and courtly, this member of the Iraqi Governing Council once served as the international spokesman for a feared terrorist group. Now he's a key player in the New Iraq.

Terror's Mastermind. It is true, as Rumsfeld said, that no ‘metrics’ exist to weigh the power of terrorists, but the available indicators point to bin Laden’s No. 2 [From the special edition of Newsweek: Issues 2004]

Firebombings: From My Father's Wars to Mine. Lecture at Clemson University, Nov. 19, 2003.

Shadowland: The Politics of  Indignity.  When proud people feel like afterthoughts they get angry, whether in restive Iraq or rural America. And some get violent

Shadowland: Common Sense. Resistance to the Patriot Act is growing in the American heartland

Shadowland: The Last Crusades. Al Qaeda hurt its own cause this week. But the United States won't be able to take advantage.

Shadowland: Lessons of History.  War can never be democratic. The danger of winning in Iraq could be losing in America

Shadowland: The Hit List. Iraq’s best and brightest are among the first targeted by a growing resistance

Three Newsmen of the Apocalypse. From the New York Times Book review.

Shadowland: Death of a Princess: Conspiracy theories tell us more about the people who believe in them than about the conspiracies themselves

Shadowland: Countdown Iran. The United States finally won a diplomatic victory in the United Nations. But Washington and Tehran are moving toward war. How far will they go?

Jews of Baghdad. Jews have lived in Iraq for nearly 3,000 years. That era is coming to an end.

Shadowland: Show Me the Money.  Some things are getting better in Baghdad. But American needs and American greed are still a major problem

Something in a lighter vein: a note on Patricia Schultz's wonderful new travel book, "1,000 Places to See Before You Die."

Shadowland: War by the Numbers. The United States may spend a billion dollars to find phantom weapons. What about laying to rest the ghosts of Iraqi civilians?

The Shadowland Archive. A list of Shadowlands, and (in some cases) live links from before, during and immediately after "major combat operations."


Is France Right? Jacques Chirac was mocked when he tried to stop the war with Iraq. Today the French position looks prescient.

Surrender Monkeys - Not. The NATO supreme commander speaks out.

Shadowland: When Victory Was Ours. Nine months ago, Saddam Hussein was contained and Al Qaeda was on the run. But that just wasn’t enough for the Bush administration. No wonder readers are upset

Shadowland: Pride and Prejudices. Why Americans make up conspiray theories to justify the disaster in Iraq.

Rethinking Islam. One key lesson from September 11: the United States should be wary of manipulating Islamic forces to advance its strategic interests

Shadowland: For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of the war in Iraq can be read in America’s hometown papers.

Shadowland: We Have Ways of Making You Talk. The United States figures it can get plenty out of the newly captured Chemical Ali. But how? And are these 'interrogation' techniques being readied for American citizens?

Shadowland: Darkness Visible. Multiply the blackout by months, and what you’d have is Iraq

Tuning In, Turning On. A collaborative piece about they way young people from Baghdad to Rio take whatever technology they can get and make of it what they will.

Sexism in the Cites with Marie Valla. France's Muslim women are sick of being treated as whores or homebodies. And some of them aren't going to take it anymore.

Shadowland: Roughest Region. The real meaning of that imperial "we."

Two versions of the same story about the House of Saud and the House of Bush:

       From Newsweek International - The Kingdom and the Power

      From the domestic Newsweek - Oiling the Relationship

Shadowland: Supporting the Troops. Unhappy hours in America.

Iraq's (Most Precious) Most-Wanted. Yes, priceless antiquities were stolen, and here they are.

Shadowland: Body Counts. Uday, Qusay and Vietnam.

Shadowland: The Jackal Howls. A new book by Carlos takes us from Communism to Al Qaeda.

One Billion Dollars a Week, and counting, in Iraq.

The Stranger in the Waste Land. Iraq's art and culture after shock and awe, and the real reason Iraqis hate us. (A Web exclusive)

Shadowland: Most-Favored Terrorists? What’s behind the French arrests of Iranian freedom fighters?

Shadowland: Bunker Mentality. Leg braces. Pulpy romance. A pink velvet bed. What’s left in the rubble of Saddam’s ’305 Guest House’

Shadowland: The Great Pretenders. An heir to the throne in Iraq and the American who’s actually on it.

        Letter from Paris. Savoring a summer scandal.

Shadowland: COGITO ERGO BOOM!  With most of the shooting stopped and Iraq occupied, the facts that justified war are not so clear, nor even present.

Shadowland in Londonistan. Kandahar-on-Thames?

Banker, Schmoozer, Spy. To his American friends, Ahmad Chalabi is a democrat and a paragon of Iraqi patriotism. To his enemies, he’s a crook. Does he have the stuff to reshape Iraq? A NEWSWEEK investigation.

 The Rage Next Time. While Americans see victories in Iraq, Arabs and Muslims see mostly victims

Saddam's Bunkers. And an insight into his mentality. Co-authored with Stefan Theil.

Once More Unto Iraq. The Boston University Alumni Magazine asked me to write about my experiences leading up to the war. The article was finished at the end of January and published the end of March.

From "Issues 2003": "The Mideast After Saddam," an antidote to apocalyptic optimism.


In 2002, Senator Byrd took on Secretary Rumsfeld using the Newsweek article "How Saddam Happened" as his point of departure. Then he put the whole thing, with a lot of supporting documentation, into the Congressional Record.

Web stories with current links:

From September 11, 2001: "Who's the Mastermind?"

Most articles are stored in the Newsweek archives, available through the current Newsweek home page.

In a very different vein, "I Love My Glowbunny", written for Wired, has been anthologized in "The Best American Science Writing 2002".

Recently discovered on the Web: Chris's 1975 review of Venus on the Half-Shell.

Also visit separate sites for Summer of Deliverance, Innocent Blood, and Expats.


In Wired --

Air Power in the August 2001 issue. A German pneumatics firm called Festo is pulling the piston out of the industrial age. Next up: Reinvent shock absorbers, scooters, and aircraft design, then build an inflatable castle in the sky.
By Christopher Dickey

"I Love My Glowbunny" in the April issue of Wired Magazine is the controversial history of a transgenic rabbit created by science and claimed by art. The original title was better: "In Vitro Veritas." This piece was selected for an anthology on the best science writing of the year.
          In Portuguese, too: http://amanha.terra.com.br/edicoes/166/wired01.asp

Go-To: Paris. Written in the Spring of 2000 on the eve of the dot-crash, it's all about nostalgia now.

And in Cigar Aficionado --

"The Green Goddess." Absinthe was once said to give genius to those who had none, and take it from those who did. A first-hand report. The article appeared in the March/April 2001 issue of Cigar Aficionado.

"The Generation Gap," about the road show for Summer of Deliverance, and the people encountered along the way, appeared in the November/December 1999 editon.

New York Times Reviews --

"No Lawyers Allowed," a review of John Grisham's latest novel, "A Painted House," appeared in the March 4 issue of  The New York Times Book Review. The problem with this sentimental tale about coming of age in Arkansas cotton country is not the lack of attorneys, it's the total absence of African-Americans. (May not be available unless you have registered previously with the Times.)

A review of "The Beat Hotel" in the December 10 NYT Book Review may require registration to read, but is still on line.
      A friend passed on this interesting link to James Dickey's 1961 review of Allen Ginsberg's "Kaddish."

Also, reviews of "The War Journal of Major Damon 'Rocky' Gause," "River of Darkness," by Rennie Airth, and "Triage," by Scott Anderson.

Plus some ancient history --

Christopher's Washington Post articles, including those from Central America and the Middle East in the 1980s, are now available through the paper's news library service.