November 30, 2007

Reporting Iraq

Abu Muqawama saw this article in the London Review of Books thanks to Theo Farrell, whose own analysis is worth reading.

Since the surge of resistance in Falluja in 2004 and the wholesale retribution, much of Iraq is no easier to access or decode than the Green Zone. The situation was summed up – overplayed according to some of her colleagues – by Farnaz Fassihi, an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal, whose desperate round-robin email to family and friends in 2004 slipped into the public domain as a web circular: ‘Can’t eat in restaurants . . . can’t look for stories, can’t travel in anything but a full armoured car . . . can’t be stuck in traffic, can’t speak English outside . . . can’t say I’m an American, can’t linger at checkpoints, can’t be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can’t and can’t.’

Update: Meanwhile, Bob Bateman is letting fly at ... well, pretty everyone involved in the Bilal Hussein case.