It seems strange timing after my entry the other day about the under-reported stories of the war that I come across this CBC story, Deadline Iraq – Uncensored Stories of the War (link via jordoncooper.com, again). It’s a report based on interviews with 50 journalists who were in Iraq. The web site has photos and complete interviews with 12 of the journalists.
They do some reflecting on how the war was reported, whether it was biased or not, whether embedded journalism worked, etc. But the most chilling aspect is the personal stories.
The worst is one fire fight where a journalist describes the fighting getting thick. They were surrounded and medics and chaplains were picking up M-16s and fighting back. The journalists says he seriously considered picking up a gun and fighting. If you remember the image, this was the same battle where a U.S. solider was being carried away on a stretcher while still firing his gun.
The worst is the pictures of dead civilians lined up in row, the burned faces of Iraqi children, and story after story hinting at the damage high-caliber weapons do to the human body. War is not the G.I. Joe thing we think it is. Some of these stories mention the anxious U.S. soliders, many younger than I am, and the incredible remorse some of them felt.
One of my good friends from high school is in Iraq right now. I’ve had his address for a couple weeks, and I’ve been meaning to write him. Busyness has kept me from it, but I know part of it is that I don’t know what to say. It’s not as simple as a dose of patriotism and thanks for fighting for freedom.