September 16, 2006

"winning a big talent contest, but your parents weren’t there to see...."

Callimachus at Winds of Change has an excellent interview with a woman who spent several years working in Iraq, for a company that oversees the contractors who are working on the many reconstruction projects. It's fascinating stuff, and I recommend it.

She's bitter about how our press so-called covered the stories...

...The press missed something vital about Iraq, and as a result the American and world public never really understood. Nobody ever got it. Iraq wasn’t just another city in the US or in Europe.

And as a result US and European citizens can share no connection to and no pride whatsoever in what those of us in Iraq have accomplished. You can’t feel it, because you’ve never seen it. And those of us who have experienced it have few ways to convey it to you so you can relate to it and share it with us. There’s a pretty hollow feeling that comes with that. It’s like being a sixteen year old and winning a big talent contest, but your parents weren’t there to see....

And I'm bitter too. I've been following the scraps of these stories that surface, and knowing all along there's a lot more going on...

....Most of us took our risks because we had to to complete our jobs. Others did so because we sincerely believed in what we were doing. For many if not most, we ultimately did so for both reasons. So it is difficult for us to watch or read much of what is reported here in the States. It is even harder to watch that same media mention their own "bravery and dedication" on those rare occasions when reporters would actually leave the safety of their burrows and venture out in clean flak jackets to cover some well-secured scene.

This didn’t go completely unnoticed by others who mentioned it on returning to the States. The media’s excuse has been that they are prime targets for armed thugs that routinely look for westerners to kidnap or kill. These people do exist and they are truly deadly. But far more contractors or Iraqi and third-nation workers employed by them have been killed, wounded, kidnapped, or raped, than journalists.

More international aid workers have been killed, wounded, or kidnapped, than journalists. More Iraqi doctors, police, government workers, social aid workers, teachers, government leaders, lawyers, businessmen and religious leaders have been individually targeted, killed, wounded, raped, or kidnapped than journalists. So as it works out, journalists aren't as high up on the hit list as they claim to be. But that hasn't moved them to go out and actually do their jobs, nor has it stopped them from trumpeting their own bravery, dedication, and ... uhhh ... integrity. ...

The news producers are only interested in the reconstruction projects if there's a hint that Halliburton has screwed up, and then only so they can tell lies about the Vice-President. Same for lefty-bloggers and left-politicians. The toads are not worthy to clean the boots of the brave men and women who serve our country around the globe in the messy dangerous work that actually accomplishes things and helps people.

Posted by John Weidner at September 16, 2006 6:36 AM
Weblog by John Weidner