Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Whack: Trudy Rubin's Willful Blindness 

Leah got me to read Trudy Rubin's Willful Blindness, and I think it's terrific. I'll have more to say as I work my way through it; for now, suffice to say that if you want a comprehensive look at the runup to the war, the war, and the war's aftermath, from someone with thirty year's experience in the Middle East, this is the book for you.

Here's some detail about what it means to be a reporter in Iraq:

I've always based my columns on reporting from the field, and this was especially important when writing about Iraq. ... One key to operating in Iraq is to have a translator and a driver whom you can trust, and who are street savvy and willing to risk working with the Americans, which can get them killed.

There is a constant risk of being kidnapped or shot by insurgents, and it is much more difficult to move about freely now than it was in 2003. There is also the random danger of being caught by a car bomb or roadside explosive or in a crossfire. I remember coming out of a quiet Internet café in Mosul and walking into a firefight between insurgents on an overpass and an American humvee.
(Appendix C)


1. We do tend to revile the SCLM—deservedly so (see, e.g., Leah, back).

But we need to remember there are individuals who are still doing great work. Trudy Rubin is one of them.

2. Being a real reporter—as opposed to a pundit or a media whore Paid Policy advocate—takes real courage; more courage than I have, certainly more courage than Jonah "White Feather" Goldberg has, and more courage than the 101st Fighting Keyboarders combined.

I mean, when I walk out of my Internet café, I don't place my life at risk; Trudy Rubin does, to cover the story.

More to come.

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