Friday, March 30, 2007

Solid Reporting

[posted by Callimachus]

I often criticize the big media in the U.S. for all but ignoring the daily work and lives of the 140,000 or so troops serving in Iraq. In post after post, I've gone through the Associated Press photo wire or news stream and counted the number of pictures or stories about live, typical U.S. men and women in the services. Typically, they can be counted on less than one finger, while there's always a few dozen photos of insurgents celebrating, or flag-draped coffins.

So it's only right that I call attention to this excellent reportage by AP's Todd Pitman out of Ramadi.

Several sweating U.S. soldiers stopped by and reported that bullets kicked up dirt beside them as they ran. One bullet struck an American in the side, but he was uninjured -- saved by his armored vest.

Sitting on a bed with radio antennas sticking out the window, Army Capt. James Enos requested a missile strike on guerrillas holed up on a nearby rooftop. An explosion sounded. "Evidently that second-floor roof is now a first floor," Enos said.

Over the next two days, troops cleared houses as tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles guarded roads and Army civil affairs teams handed out food and water. One woman about to give birth was taken to a hospital in a Bradley.

On a wall across the street from a mosque, someone had scrawled in Arabic: "Ramadi is life for the holy warriors ... and a cemetery for Americans."

And so forth. Not good news. Not bad news. Just news -- of our people and what they're accomplishing, what their lives are devoted to right now. You can't have an intelligent thought about the war unless you know this part of it, and we've been poorly served by our media here. This is a good story. More, please.

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