Sunday, May 25, 2008

Boldly Going...

If I didn't have a wife and kids to support, I would like to think I might have done the same thing as Dahr Jamail:
"I wanted to report on where the silence was," he says. "There's this huge story going on and nobody's talking about it. How are Iraqis getting by, what's their daily life like?"
But even Jamail has not been able to break through the corporate media blockade:
What this role as an avowedly anti-war journalist means, however, is that Jamail's political opponents can write him off as a propagandist. American TV networks have largely ignored him and his book. Even as the public mood has turned against the war, the mainstream media have not been able to disengage themselves from their view that, in time of war, the commander-in-chief and the boys in the field should be supported.
These excerpts are from a book review (it should be front page news) in The Guardian. And of course there is a cost for such heroism:
Jamail made two further trips to Iraq, but hasn't been back since early 2005. The danger was now too great, and he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. "Having never reported in a war zone before, I was ignorant about PTSD," he says. "I assumed that journalists didn't get it. I thought you had to be a combat soldier to get it. When I got home after my fourth trip, I started having trouble sleeping. I was constantly thinking about Iraq, getting random visions of the times when I would go into morgues, and feeling guilty that I could leave the country but the friends I had made there couldn't. I just felt numb a lot of the time. All of that put together made me realise that this was not the same guy that went over there, and that I needed some help. I took counselling, and still do it off and on when necessary."
More here.