Here’s a great account of a Wall Street Journal reporter’s ordeal in Iraq. It was an arduous three years:
I tried to make a home in Iraq, a task that seemed feasible at first, but grew more and more difficult. In the quest for a safe place, I moved eight times. Each location was more heavily fortified than the last. For a time, I lived with other journalists in a villa with black marble floors and wood-paneled walls and a garden dotted with orange and date trees, in the upscale neighborhood of Mansur. We left that house in 2004, after, within the space of a few weeks, a car bomb exploded outside our house and several foreigners were abducted and beheaded in the neighborhood.
I respect Ms. Fassihi’s courage tremendously. She and the other journalists in Iraq have provided an immeasurable service. Too many have lost their lives covering this war. But, I think this is an important point:
[T]he British security firm we hired had warned in an email that insurgents were plotting to kidnap a female American journalist and advised women not to leave their hotel unless absolutely necessary.
Several weeks later, my friend Jill Carroll, a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, was abducted in broad daylight at gunpoint as she left an interview in Baghdad.
Part of the reason Ms. Fassihi was so unsafe in Iraq — in addition to Iraq being an incredibly unsafe place — was that she was a reporter. Insurgents in Iraq are clearly targeting reporters. Why? To help them convince the world that Iraq is a dangerous, lawless place where we are losing the war. I’m sure many of my readers believe this perception to be the truth. But many others — including members of our military — believe otherwise.
One unmistakable fact remains: The insurgents are purposefully targeting journalists like Jill Carroll. Now, what purpose does that serve?