Lying Media Bastards

August 1, 2007

Always and Forever


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Recently heard about and have taken an interest in the blog Death of a Nation? Freelance journalist David Enders reports on the daily crises faced by Iraqis, and filmmaker Richard Rowley posts haunting poems about what he sees there. The site is only a few weeks old, but I already read two of Enders’ pieces that I thought raised some good points that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else.

The first was in an about the process of “embedding”, where journalists typically attach themselves to a US military unit and do their best to report the story while heavily swathed inside the military’s point of view. While Enders claims that embedding with troops is a good method of getting the story of what’s going on with the military, he basically claims that Iraq is so dangerous that it has become necessary to “embed” with somebody. A few weeks ago, Enders and Rowley were embedded with the US military. Last week, to get to Najaf from Baghad, they were essentially embedded with “Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council in a convoy of Iraqi police, military and the party’s guards.” This week, he expects that they will be embedded with a political party in Basra. “We are always embedded”, he says. If they wanted to survive and avoid embedding, they would need to hire their own private security guards, which would be its own form of embedding, bringing its own constraints and biases with it. Perhaps it is possible for some journalists to report from Iraq without military escort, political connections, or armed guards, but it seems like that would be a small number. It also sounds as though Iraq is increasingly a place where cities and neighborhoods are shutting themselves off from each other so that their local security force/militia can protect from attacks by outsiders.

And his second point is about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although it is frequently abbreviated as PTSD, Enders calls it TSD, pointing out that for many, there is nothing “post” about it, facing fresh traumas every day. And while some folks here in the US are outspoken in their concern over US troops being stricken with P/TSD from their experiences in Iraq, Enders reminds us that the many Iraqis who have clearly developed P/TSD by now do not get the same attention. With the first Gulf War, we gave the Iraqi people cancer, caused by the use of carcinogenic depleted uranium ammunition. With the second one, we gave them much of the same, with a side order of mental illness. America has got to get out of the war business.

Posted by Jake on August 1, 2007 11:30 pm

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