What It Takes to Open a Bar in Baghdad

There is a fascinating account of what it takes to open a bar in Baghdad in the middle of the Green Zone over at the Atlantic:

To keep the bar adequately stocked, the BCC’s owner James — a British ex-paratrooper turned security contractor who asked that I use his first name only, due to concerns that his past ventures in Iraq might affect his current work there (the Baghdad Country Club was a place where many people liked to recreate, but few later desired to admit they had) — and his fixer Ajax had to venture out there regularly. To cross hostile roads in vehicles laden with liquor, James would trade his suit for overalls and body armor, his Glock tucked into his ops vest, an M-4 in the passenger seat, a bag of cash stashed in the back. Fatalism came easy in a place with so many fatalities — if today’s your day, it’s your day, James thought whenever he eased behind the wheel.