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Sheik Rokhan with Captain Lackey.  Photo by Bill Putnam.
Sheik Rokhan with Captain Lackey. Photo by Bill Putnam.

In the First Person: A Sunni Sheik on Election Eve

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In Iraq, tribal Sheiks are often central figures for the U.S. military. Unit commanders meet often with sheiks to talk about local events and act as a mutual bridge between U.S. soldiers and Iraqis. Lately, a lot of the talk has centered on Thursday's elections. Freelance photojournalist Bill Putnam recently sat in on one such conversation. Captain Adam Lackey of the 101st Airborne Division spoke with a sheik in Bayji, in the area known as the Sunni triangle. Their conversation was far-ranging, from the Sunni sheik's surprising support of a Shiite candidate, to concerns over ballot rigging and Iran, to the sheik's desires for a secular Iraq. Putnam sent us this audio postcard.

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