Friday, March 31, 2006

The Direction of Travel

Earlier in the week, Laura Logan, chief correspondant for CBS News fought back on allegations of media bias. It's worth watching the video if you've not seen it.

As well as doing a rather good job of rebuffing the last throw of the dice by a failing administration which is desperate to desguise the scale of its own incompetance allegations of bias, her unscripted comments give an insight into the real Iraq as seen through the eyes of a journalist on the ground. There's no doubt that this stuff was heartfelt.

As the excerpt at Crooks and Liars shows, the US authorities in Iraq are refusing to take journalists to the reconstruction projects which have survived the funding cuts and the cancellations and the corruption and the incessant attacks. Why? Because the security situation is so bad that media coverage of a project makes it vulnerable to insurgent attack. The security forces in Iraq can't protect the projects so the journalists are not allowed to visit them.

Attacking recently publicised "successes" would obviously be a psychological victory for the insurgents. It is quite right that this should be prevented. But like this? That the US military cannot effectively secure reconstruction projects from entirely predicable attacks (indeed they are the one's predicting them) says everything. Security, or rather the tragic lack of it, is the story of Iraq.

(From the transcript) Ms Logan explains that "you can't travel around this country anymore without military protection. You can't travel without armed guards".

Later in the interview she elaborates on the "anymore".
I mean, I don't know any journalist that wants to just sit in a hotel room in Iraq. Does anybody understand that for us we used to be able to drive to Ramadi, we used to drive to Falluja, we used to drive to Najaf. We could travel all over this country without having to fly in military helicopters.

That's the only way we can move around here. So, it's when the military can accommodate us, if the military can accommodate us, then we can go out and see.
But things are definitely getting better. Feel free to add more bitter sarcasm to taste.

Tags: , , ,

No comments: