Favorite checkpoint story: After an interview today at the Ministry of Interior, we drove back home down Abu Nawas street, which runs along the east side of the Tigris. With other cars, we went through a vehicle checkpoint, and were stopped by an officer, who leaned in toward the car window.
Officer: Do you have any weapons?
Officer (incredulously): You don't have weapons? Why don't you have any weapons?
Moral of the story: Everyone in Iraq has a weapon. And with good reason.