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Tie a digital ribbon round the old oak tree


Stateside with Rosalea

Tie a digital ribbon round the old oak tree

By Rosalea Barker

On my commute to class last night, and elderly man taking a seat next to me brightly remarked that "it will all be over in a couple of days. No more protests. The paper says it will all be over." To which I replied: "It won't ever be over. Not ever."

For many journalists covering this war, it is over. The rate at which they are being killed is just appalling. In his commentary segment on 'Face the Nation' last Sunday, host Bob Schieffer spoke about Michael Kelly and David Bloom, who had just lost their lives. One of the things he said was:

"But let their deaths remind us that this is not a television show — an option for those who don't like basketball."

The "this" he was referring to was the war in Iraq; the "us", perhaps, was the television networks. Those correspondents in the field have put themselves seriously in harm's way to get stories and what happens to the reports that they file? Are they even seen, or are they scrapped because the ratings say people are getting bored with the war?

It happens that Michael Kelly's opinion piece, written in Kuwait before he left for his embedment, was in the 'Atlantic Monthly' I got in the mail on the day before his death. The May issue isn't on-line yet, but once it is you should read it. He predicts an easy win in Iraq for the US, but cautions that what happens afterward will define the course of world history for the next 100 years.

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