Monday, August 29, 2005


PARIS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.
Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said.
The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.
The death toll in Iraq compares with a total of 63 journalists in Vietnam, but which was over a period of 20 years from 1955 to 1975, the Paris-based organisation that campaigns to protect journalists said on its Web site.
During the fighting in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, 49 journalists were killed doing their job, while 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed during a civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996.
RSF listed Iraq as the world's most dangerous place for journalists. In addition to those killed, 22 have been kidnapped. All but one was released. Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni was executed by his captors.
The media was targeted from the first days of the fighting, when cameraman Paul Moran, of the Australian TV network ABC, was killed by a car bomb on March 22, 2003, it added.
Two other journalists have been missing since March 2003 and August 2004.


Anonymous GM Roper said...

Journalism is a dangerous job for those willing to get out of the safe zones and into areas of conflict. In Vietnam, there were a number of journalists who were IN the service and killed in the line of duty, I don't think those numbers are included in the total, though I may be wrong.

In Iraq, as in Vietnam, too many journalists get their stories from sitting in bars and re-writing dispatches it would seem. Those that venture out are the ones in danger. I don't believe that many (any?) were kidnapped in Vietnam, though as you say, a hefty number have been kidnapped in Iraq.

Good report.

August 29, 2005 5:28 am  
Anonymous Woody said...

I was trying to determine the point, for which I can only assume that the wars cited and the related approaches to reporting each are different. Who's to blame or is anyone supposed to be blamed?

The killings in Iraq are done by the terrorists, so perhaps that's an additional difference worth a mention. (Sorry, no reference. Just take my word.)

I'm not sure why you would mention that a wounded cameraman was detained by U.S. soldiers, unless you were making a point. What was it? U.S. soldiers aren't out to harm journalists and any detention would likely be to verify the camerman's identification (i.e., he is not an enemy with a camera-bomb) and to treat him.

One lesson from this, someone should not be a war-time journalist until he understands the risks and is willing to accept that he could become a casualty himself.

I hate it for everyone involved.

August 29, 2005 4:06 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

I hate to see journalists getting killed. But its mainly because we are dealing with fanatics instead of an orginized formal military force. So if they find a journalist, they do not recognize that status as anything other than another infidel.

On the bright side of the casualties numbers is that troop death rates for the Iraq war are only 14% of those in Vietnam. While I hate seeing any troops die, at least its not lambs to the slaughter like so many wars before.

August 29, 2005 5:30 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

depends who you view as the lambs G :-)


i dont make sweeping generalisations , however the US forces have at times made a choice to attack journalists , i think of the fortunes of al-jazeera reporters in many countries , not just iraq

where do you draw the line ? i would not want any US solider to die , in any conflict , i have no dislike for them , they are human just like me

but where do statistics become a concern

take a school that has children AND insurgents in it

HOW many US lives are worth risking to try and reduce the deaths of the children

1 soldier = 10 children ?
1 soldier = 100 chidlren ?

you have to make a choice , and it seems the US always make the choice of self preservation

so they drop a bomb on the school and everyone dies , instead of storming the building and 3 soldiers die but 50 children live

that is a VERY american style of battle in the modern age , my country (the UK) would not do that , we would storm the buidling , and people would die of course

but i ask you the question

what is the value of the life of

a US soldier
a US citizen
a iraqi child
a christian
a muslim
a american
a iraqi

if you can sit here and tell me that the value of all is the same , then i would question your morality

sayinh that , thanks for popping by and you are of course welcome , anytime

August 29, 2005 6:07 pm  
Anonymous Woody said...

_H_, please clarify something for me. When you said that you would question my morality if I said that all life was equally valued--well, I just don't understand that.

Not knowing your point, I would say that all life cannot be valued. In a way, that makes them equal. In commerce, such as auto safety, there are trade-offs in safety for dollars, so someone is placing a dollar value on life there. But, in war the decisions are different--especially in a war of attrition.

For instance, in WWII, all the lives of the Japanese killed by the atomic bomb did not have as much value as the lives of the American soldiers whose lives would have been taken to defeat that city. It seems crude, but I think that is a valid conclusion-- if you're the one who has a choice between dropping the bomb and being killed yourself.

August 29, 2005 7:39 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

woody said "_H_, please clarify something for me. When you said that you would question my morality if I said that all life was equally valued--well, I just don't understand that"

of course , that was a typo , i type to quick and often do that ,

my point is if you claimed all life "is NOT" equally valid

you see this is were we differ woody , i do not connect dollars to life ,

and it is amazing how many people hold your view and genuinly believe that they are a good christian

i differ from your view on how long japan would have kept fighting and how many american lives it would have cost , but to be fair , i am not american so easier for me to do

i do not feel it was valid for the UK to give america it's nuclear project (due to thinking the nazi's would invade)

and i do not support the targeting of civilians (though i accept of course that the japs and the germans did so we had to in return)

war is a nasty thing and morality can become twisted in the light of battle , but my hinsight says america was wrong to use the atomic bomb , yours would state that it was right

but with an issue so far back in history and so many issues today to debate , i will just say that i respect your ideology on that , i dont by defintion debate your princible of saving US lives

but my moral guidance comes from a different perspective and we should agree to differ

as for the value of an iraqi child etc , now that i have clarified i would love to here your thoughts

August 29, 2005 7:54 pm  
Anonymous Woody said...

_H_, I actually didn't realize that it was a typo. Now, I did not say that life has a dollar value. I only gave an example as to where there are such choices--made by industry, insurance companies, and juries. To me, life cannot be valued. It is too great.

Now, the "value" of an Iraqi child vs. a U.S. soldier... Shouldn't that question be posed to the terrorists, since it is they who are making that choice by using schools as an attack base? Any children killed in cross-fire between the troops and terrorists hiding in schools has to be on the heads of the terrorists. It is they who cause the deaths, just as they do with bombs on civilians. The U.S. has the moral high ground here.

The only way that I can answer your last question directly is to put myself in the place of the soldier. I can't really do that, but this is what I might imagine how I would act. (I am going to except collateral deaths which are not intended. This might happen in taking a town in battle.)

A soldier has to obey orders---so the decision goes higher up and I may not have a choice. But, if there is no guidance from higher up, I have to consider options. If I have discretion, I would treat that like any hostage situation and try to preserve all life. If it became a situation in which I would have to storm a school, then my first priority is to keep myself alive. It doesn't help the kids if the people who are trying to free them get killed. Nothing, of course, is that simple and the dynamics of a situation can cause one to change his mind every second.

What would you do?

August 29, 2005 8:31 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...


i differ from your view on how long japan would have kept fighting and how many american lives it would have cost , but to be fair , i am not american so easier for me to do

Every indication, including the way the killed themelseves when we landed on Okinawa would say they would have fought until the bitter end? What would give you any other indication?

August 29, 2005 9:44 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

mayybe a little background information might help here woody

I won't go into details as to what i do , but i have over the years spent time working with US forces in a kind of civilian capacity

as for US soldiers in general , i would NEVER blame them for their actions as individuals , they are human just like me , and as you say , they were probably ordered to do whatever it is they do

now when it comes to the basic run of the mill US soldier , i really can not find a way to say this tactfully , so i will just say it ,

they are the best equiped force on the planet
but they are very poorly trained

they are trained that self preservation is the ultimate rule and being american you may not release that this is not the way the british or thr french are trained , i mean no offence and i am sure most will take issue with me here , american soldiers are damn fine human beings

but the command structure and training lacks certain basic ethics

an example

when the issue of moving forces around the country takes place , the americans all pile into their vehicles and zoom off at 60 miles an hour

and the other countries would set off at 5 mph with two teams of soldiers about half a mile each side of the road , walking along , preventing any insurgent attacks on the main force

this example is a little mute for the US forces have adjusted and no longer do this

but the princible is , who is it that thought such a tactic was wise in the first place !

many american soliders have lost their lives due to poor planning , poor tactics and poor training

from what i have seen , there is a trigger happy nature about the training


groups of US forces with "welcome to the jungle" blaring at volume ten from mp3 players storming into mosques and ending up with many innocents dead , when a more patient aproach is better

that being said , and i don't doubt my views will be warped by many when it comes to US special forces , the whole thing changes

which prooves to me that it is about training and not people

US special forces are in my view THE BEST in the world , without doubt

they are profesional , they are intelligent , they have common sense , they know how to aproach an issue with a pause and a thought and not just an F15 and a missile , they are flexible , they are VERY VERY understanding of the ethnic balance in the areas they fight

so often US special forces find themselves in countries , alone , with no support , and to survive you HAVE to befriend the locals , you have to blend in , and you have to SHOW RESPECT to get any in return

if my life was in danger , i would hope to god it was a US special forces unit that saved me

the difference is stunning

now on your point of "that question be posed to the terrorists"
this is were a HUGE area of difference will come in

my view is (in a vedry simplified form)

saddam hussien was a bad man
but he was no worse then the leaders of saudi arabia ,syria,iran,kuiwat,eygpt etc and we send them military contracts not to war

saddam did not have usual WMD

saddam was not a threat to us

saddam was not a threat to his neigbours (as they have said)

saddam was not in bed with al-qaeda (some will argue that he is in bed with terrorists and he sent 25 million to families of hamas etc , i will reply that the CIA spends 250 million every year proping up dicators like saddam and that we just sound hypocritical)

iraq had many problems (like many countries) but it did not have a divided nation and the creation of a whole new pseudo nation crossing between iran and iraq due to the power we have givin the shia

and most important of all , IRAQ DID NOT HAVE AN INSURGANCY

it does now

as colin powell said , you break it , you own it

and yes it is a harsh world

but it there was no reason to attack iraq then , at that exact time , for these all ficitious reasons

he made the choice , thats his job
he has teams of people and computers to work out every possibilty

you can not expect other people and other countries to lie down and just accept US foreign policy

but you should expect bush and the pentagon to have planned for this

we by our actions have created an insurgancy that did not exist before

so each and every time one of those sick twisted people blows himself up , i do not blame the insurgants . i blamed badly planned and poorly carried out foreign policy

i am certain you will disagree with me on most of this , and that is your right

however , to win / or at least regain credibilty in this the US has to look at why people are so angry

and why the Middlie east is so angry

to someone like me , what i hear is " we have just broken a window , but if you get cut on the glass then its not our fault"

sorry , it is your fault . you broke it

know please understand something before you respond

i do not blame the american people
i do not blame the american forces
i DO blame the Neocons

and i see them with all this blood on their hands

sorry if my answer is long

August 29, 2005 10:09 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

and full of typos , hope you can read it

August 29, 2005 10:14 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

neocon is way overused. Neo Con means nothing but New Conservative. It just mean the next generation of conservatives. Too many use it like its some sect.

August 29, 2005 10:18 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

true G i accept that , and it really does not apply

my concern is that a government and a country should sway one way then the other of the middle

a bit left
a bit right

a bit regean
a bit clinton

but bush is an extremist , he is a danger to us all , the white house is no place for exremists and reaction headed people ,

once the balance , either left or right returns , you wont see me for dust , i have said many times , i dont care for republicans or democrats

those parties do not exist in my country

i do care for extremists , and i will do all i can (which is nothing really hehehe) to get the white house back in the hands of the real republicans or the real democrats

August 29, 2005 10:25 pm  
Anonymous Woody said...

_H_, some quick comments:

A recent survey of something like 40-45 Democrats who voted for the Iraq invasion indicated that all but two would vote the same way, even with what they know today.

I heard about another survey of the Iraqi people in which they have a positive view of their future and believe that, long-term, they will be much better off than under Hussein.

The U.S. troops on the ground see progress and are optimistic. This is in stark contrast to press reports.

(I don't have the references for these statements but heard them on the news.)

If critics of the occupation (the Democrats) would still support the invasion today, if the Iraqi people have new and better hopes for the future, and if the troops are optimistic: then, maybe the reality of the situation is better than that presented by the press who would mislead the general public over political bias.

Regarding "blame," terrorism and murder of innocent civilians cannot be excused on the actions of a country or its foreign policy. It is due to the barbaric nature of terrorists--and, they can't pass that off as someone else's fault. That's like a murderer blaming his environment. It just won't work.

August 30, 2005 3:50 am  
Blogger _H_ said...


a quick reply

a survey in eurpoe carried out by time magazine with normal western folks in 2004 has some shocking numbers

doubt you will remember but ‘time’ magazine did a survey , 706,842 people took part (wow thats alot)

the question

what country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003

the answer

north korea 6.7%

iraq 6.3%

USA 86.9%

now it would be foolist to tell nearly a million people that they are just simply wrong , so maybe they have a point

as for the internal american debate of dem v rep , yes i am left wing , yes i do not hide that , but i am not american , so telling me what the dems (or reps) do is water of a ducks back to me

as i say my problem is not with dems or reps , my debate is with the FAR right extremists currently in the white house , once they get out , i wont have a thing to say

as to regarding blaim it really depends how far you want to look into the issues

i do not yet know your understanding of middle east history and politics so i am unable to assess your thoughts

but i will try another angle

if i came into your house and broke its structure so the foundation (although not good) of yesterday was ripped apart and the outside walls of your house were open and un protected , the rules of your house (although not nice before) are now destroyed by my actions ,

then the twisted nutters came in through the void in your structure , they rape your wife , they torture you children they kill your brother

wouldnt you want to have a word with me about what i did ?

blaiming the insurgents for your mess is a bit of a non plus issue

you made the country that way , you should fix it

August 30, 2005 4:10 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

correction (typo alert) the survey was asked in 2003 not 04 , obviously

August 30, 2005 4:12 am  
Anonymous Woody said...

-H_, I don't have time to do this justice, but the "survey" is phony. A scientific survey has a much smaller sample base, but a well defined one to be truly representative. This so-called survey is nothing more than a referendum by the magazine's readers about their feelings toward the U.S. If Europeans truly believe that the U.S. is a greater danger to world peace than Iraq and North Korea combined by almost a 7 to 1 ratio, then they are even dumber than I can imagine. Rather, I think a better survey and different analysis is more in order.

August 31, 2005 3:27 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

have you thought that maybe they are not so dumb ?

nobody is claiming that the american people are the danger

or american moderate reps or dems are the danger

but i am one of those people that views George bush n co a greater danger to the world then extremist islam , (and thats quite a claim)

so respect to you , i will allow you to include me in with those you view as dumb :-)

i have no problem with that , but i stand by my belief that american neocons are the biggest threat that the world currently has

of course , once the neo-cons are out , i would no longer put the US inside the top hundred threats , it is not a place i am used to putting america top of

but right now i do

August 31, 2005 3:34 am  
Anonymous Woody said...

Sorry, but I believe that your analogy is not valid. The country was held hostage by a tyrant. If you eliminate one and another one takes his place, then you keep eliminating them they get the message and are gone. Maybe a decent analogy is cutting a cancer out, and you keep cutting and treating the patient until you get it all. Otherwise, he will never get well.

Think seriously about this. Countries cannot modify foreign policy simply because terrorists threaten them. If they do, then it concedes that all foreign policy decisions will be made by terrorists rather than elected representatives.

There was a period long ago in our country when the Barbary pirates kept storming our ships and demanding ransom. This country made a decision to spend millions in defense but not one dollar on bounty. I prefer that policy, because other pirates will learn to leave us alone--or they will get killed.

I have to go, but I'll try to check your response later.

August 31, 2005 3:40 am  
Anonymous Woody said...

I'm sorry, but I just saw your last response. I didn't mean for my comment to appear to call you dumb and should have worded it better. I respect your fears, but I see it differently and believe that the U.S. insures world peace when other nations sit on their thumbs. I'm confident of the nobel intentions of the U.S. I don't know what has to be done to convince the rest of the world of them. Okay, I'm really out now.

August 31, 2005 3:47 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

woody the country was held hostage by a tryrant

true , so is eygpt ,so us saudi arabia so is uzbekistan so is syria ,and some say so is the US :-)

the cancer you speak of was not there woody , it was a secular country that had MAJOR problems yes , but i do hope you dont by into this 9/11 link and such or the osama link , that stuff is just so un educated it is scary but i am happy to debate it

you say "Think seriously about this. Countries cannot modify foreign policy simply because terrorists threaten them"

neither can you install demcoracy by the barrel of a gun , trust me , my country has tried erm (cough) many times

all of the questions made by the right seem mute to me

yes he was bad (but there are many worse who we still fund and supprt)

no he didnt have WMD ,(he used to yes , but i agree with hans blix and the IAEA that saddam destroyed his stockpiles in 1991)

no he did not do deals/make friends with al-qaeda (this subject is the biggest joke of all ,for anyone thay knows middle east history)

yes he did fund terrorists at times (who doesnt , the worst culprit in the world is the CIA)

so it is simple , it was the invasion of a soverign nation with out foundation ,

as for the cancer , our doing i am afraid ,

saddam was a twisted SOB , but he did a damn fine job of keeping al-qaeda out of his country

if only we could do the same

i feel that without question america had to look at itself after 9/11 ,

the attacks on the al-qaeda bases in afghanistan for example i fully support

but this new rule (that we will all follow now) that it is ok to attack a country that has NOT attacked or even planned to attack you is a nice way of talking about domination

G has said to me on ocasions that he thinks most of the reasons were for america's own reasons

such as oil , military presense in the middle east , control etc

though i dont like those ideas , i respect the honesty at least

but some idea that we are performing some kind of moral good in the middle east ,is so orwellien that it makes me laugh

bush is a danger to us all

and his actions even if we accept they are all accidents has already killed ten times what died on the horror of 9/11

that is one dangerous guy , and i wish no offence of course , but if you really want me to , i will go into much much more detail

but many people mistake my absolute disgust at the neocons to a dislike for america , that is wrong wrong wrong and wrong

nobody with a brain , including the CIA the NSA MI5 or MI6 thought that saddam was a threat

it is clear (get ready for the quote) that "the facts were being fixed around the policy"

so if you ask me (and feel free to call me dumb hehehehe)

is that bush is a bigger threat then sadda, ever was
and that bush is a bigger threat then osama ever could be

i do not buy thise "you are either with us or you are with the terrorists" sorry .. i am not

i HATE the terrorists , i dont defend them

but they still would have to go some to match the twisted mind i see inside george bush

please dont see this as political

it isnt

i dont even live in the US

if the moderates left or right get control of the US i amhappy either way

but , and here comes another (H is dumb thought maybe) but i have no doubt that bush is and all those other idiots in power from the "project for a new american century" are borderline fascists

feel free to call me on it , i will justify my words , but accept that i am unlikely to convince you of what i see ,and you would find it impossible top convince me that bush is not the MAJOR world issue that needs looking at FIRST

so agree to disagree os probably best

August 31, 2005 4:02 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

woody , no offence taken , you are intelligent person with developed views that i just happen to disagree with , this is what demcoracy is .

if you wish to call me dumb i am not so shallow to take offence ,

i know we debated trolls , but nothing you could say to me would define you as a troll in my book

it is those that have insults without content that i laugh at ,

the odd "dumb" etc to proove your point just adds emotion , that is healthy

feel free to call me what you wish ,i rip into people who bring nothing more than rhetoric and party politics and lack of maturity
to a debate

you have already shown you thoughts are worth responding too , so please , put your feet up , make yourself at home

i dont offend easy

think about it , i go round calling bush a "terrorist" how many "far right wing" "over patriotic" erm , erm .. people (hehehe) have come here to show me how mature they are

my views push the boundries (if you are american and reading this if you are europeen then those that dont think bush is the problem are the minority)

as long as you dont fall into the trap of thinking i am attacking american people , or even the nation of america then we can't go far wrong

August 31, 2005 4:13 am  
Anonymous Woody said...

Thanks for your kind remarks and insight, _H_. Now on to the current post.

September 01, 2005 9:08 pm  

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