Thursday, February 22, 2007

I use eyedrops to hide the tears too...

"Not to shoot would be to imperil their own lives or those of their colleagues, both American and Iraqi. To shoot would be to risk killing civilians who have been shoved in front of their guns to shield insurgent fighters." What a terrible moral dilemma these troops face, they are so human. How unethical and evil these Iraqi fighters are, they hold values so different from us. They are terrorists. Peter Beaumont seems to be one of those blow dried "embedded journalists" giving us the supposedly human side of the conflict. It just so happens to be American.

He writes earlier, "It is said there are no atheists in foxholes. In conflict, soldiers face deep personal questions: about anger and isolation; about separation from family and home; about faith and the meaning of life and death.", yes Mr Beaumont, of course... they face very deep personal questions. He loses no time in setting the mood either, "The congregation stows its weapons beneath the pews against a soundtrack supplied by helicopters, unmanned drones and low-flying jets." These warrior-philosophers face such adversity with such faith and conviction, unlike those few bad apples who carry out the odd massacre. They struggle with such fundamental questions as how "God might have created such evil", one of the most ridiculous theological questions which I hear posed often in many articles and books and which I'm tempted to write an article about at some point. You get a clearer angle of what Mr Beaumont's perspective on this war is with the title of another article he keeps, this one from the 17th of February, "I use eyedrops to hide the tears, the American officer said." Pass me the sick bag.

What Mr Beaumont should do, if he was interested in a journalistic coup rather than the melodramatic, third rate romance novels he seems keen on producing, is he might have tried talking to people who are actively resisting the American presence and asking them similar questions. Surely since he is in Iraq he would understand the complex and varied interaction of the different groups in Iraq. Surely, as Yusri Fudha did, he'd be able to find someone he might pose this question to. But no, Mr Beaumont is content with the image presented to him by the teary eyed US trooper he so empathises with. Not one of those reports contains any interview with even the civilians who live in those areas. Ostensibly because these are "gang-land style areas" as he mentions, but I think he won't go there because he's so firmly "embedded" within the mentality of the occupier that any journalistic neutrality he may profess dissipates as quickly as his credibility as soon as the ink dries on the paper. I'm thoroughly dissapointed with the perspective he is presenting in his stories and wish he would be a bit more balanced.

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