Thursday, June 07, 2007

Journalist Hades

Journalist Sahar al-Haideri of the independent Aswat al-Iraqi news agency has been killed in Iraq.

She was one of dozens of people killed in another bloody day in Iraq. Typically her passing would be little noted and certainly no cause for a special post here at Club Lefty.

But Sahar is the latest victim in a wave of journalists killings in Iraq. At least 12 journalists were killed in the month of May alone.

To me that is a staggering figure. Is there any more deadly a job in the civilian sector in the entire world?

And the thanks these folks get for their work is hardly adequate. The President and his spokestoadies have made a drumbeat on how wrong the media is for doing their jobs. The Pentagon seems intent on making balanced reporting from the theater impossible, proudly budgeting money to plant stories in the local press. The right wing blogosphere has demonstrated time and again a willingness to slander and nit pick these journalists, and have hardly shown remorse when demonstratably proven wrong in their attacks.

Indeed the occupation forces seem willing to go out of their way to make the life of non embeded journalists miserable since early on. Al Jazeera in Baghdad was bombed killing a journalist. When they entered Baghdad, American tanks shelled the Palistinian Hotel which housed the press, killing two journalists. American forces have held A.P. Photographer Bilal Hussein in detention for over a year without charging him.

It really must seem like one of the deadliest, least thankful jobs on the planet. So for what little good it does, let me as an obscure little blogger acknowledge the hard work and dedication of those who report the news from Iraq. Good luck to each and every one of you. I for one appreciate it.

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