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The Kurdish army has one tank — an Iraqi T55 they captured
from Saddam Hussein’s troops more than a decade ago. Iraq’s
Kurds live in an uncertain limbo, surrounded by countries hostile
to their dreams of autonomy, even as they’ve established a de facto
nation-state within the U.S.-preserved no-fly zone of northern Iraq.
“I think that what surprised me most about Kurdistan,” says British photographer Andrew Testa, “was how far they have come in the
last 10 years. To be honest, I was expecting a mess, but found just the opposite. Everything works: They have cell phones, good roads,
great food — even supermarkets!” All of this could disappear overnight, of course, and every Kurd knows it. “The Kurds,” says Testa, “play
a very delicate balancing act.” Not unlike this soldier, who has just removed the gun cover from his army’s only tank.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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