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Tuesday
Jan242006

Reporting (sort of) from Iraq

‘Hotel Journalism’ Dictates Coverage of Iraq

Robert Fisk

The Independent, Arab News

"BAGHDAD, 17 January 2005 — “Hotel journalism” is the only word for it. More and more, Western reporters in Baghdad are reporting from their hotels rather than the streets of Iraq’s towns and cities. Some are accompanied everywhere by hired and heavily armed Western mercenaries (perhaps the Jaybird is one of them). A few live in local offices from which their editors refuse them permission to leave. Most use Iraqi “stringers” — part-time correspondents who risk their lives to conduct interviews for American or British journalists — and none can contemplate a journey outside the capital without days of preparation unless they “embed” themselves with American or British forces.

Rarely, if ever, has a war been covered by reporters in so distant and restricted a way. New York Times correspondents live in Baghdad behind a massive stockade with four watchtowers, protected by locally hired, rifle-toting security men, complete with “NYT” T-shirts. Journalists with America’s NBC television chain are holed up in a hotel with an iron grill over their door, forbidden by their security advisers to visit the swimming pool or the restaurant, “let alone the rest of Baghdad”, lest they are attacked. Several Western journalists simply do not leave their rooms while on station in Baghdad.

So grave are the threats to Western journalists that some television stations are talking of withdrawing their reporters and crews altogether. Amid an Iraqi resistance where Westerners — and many Arabs as well as other foreigners — are kidnapped and killed, reporting this war is becoming close to impossible."

More - aljazeerah.info

If you follow the link back to the towelheads site they have some interesting figures on their masthead under This is how much the Empire wars are costing the United States. The figure climbs alarmingly fast. Last time I looked it read $8,182,928,457,063 Beaucoup fric, baby. Beaucoup fric. How much of that is borrowed from China, eh? I think I'm gonna start buying gold. We're looking at meltdown here. Thanks to that halfpint Texas Ranger in the White House. You seen the latest bodycount, too? 2,200 and something US servicemen killed. Doesn't include injured, maimed and fucked-up-for-life. Nor civilian casualties. Who said unsustainable? Why you cheese-eating, surrender monkey, frog wannabe.

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