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Right Intention: US troops killing journalists?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

US troops killing journalists?

I just saw Richard Engel, NBC correspondent in Iraq, relate the following story to Tim Russert on his show. I'll retell it as best as I can.

Engel was traveling with a US unit in a Striker vehicle near Mosul recently when a car full of Iraqi troops was fired upon and burst into flames. The US soldiers immediately went to try and pull wounded Iraqi soldiers from the vehicle. Engel went with them, bringing a blanket impregnated with a special fire-retardant foam. As they were rescuing the wounded Iraqi soldiers, the ammunition stored inside the Iraqi vehicle began exploding, and simultaneously, another group began firing on them. Engel and the US soldiers were now outside their vehicle, on open, unprotected terrain, completely exposed to the incoming fire. As soon as the firefight started, a US soldier came over to Engel and purposely stood between him and the incoming fire, while firing on the enemy. He didn't drop to the ground to make a lower profile or hightail it back to the vehicle. He stood his ground in front of a reporter. According to Engel, the soldiers and units that he travels with routinely behave like this.

Hey Eason, are you listening? Are these the same guys targeting journalists? And this isn't FOX telling the tale, it's NBC.


Blogger trulyblueamerican said...

I don't get your point.

Because soldiers did something good (they do lots of brought up one example), then that somehow means they couldn't have done bad?

So if Hitler kisses a baby, it's proof that he didn't exterminate Jews?

For the record: I'm unfamiliar with the complaint you reference about troops killing journalists.

1:38 AM  
Blogger RD said...

That's a reference to Eason Jordan, former CNN head, who accused the US military of deliberately murdering journalists in Iraq. He resigned his position at CNN rather than undergo scrutiny of his comments. This all happened in the last six weeks. Google him and you'll see.

12:57 PM  
Blogger trulyblueamerican said...

Well, the actual circumstances are secondary.

I still don't follow the logic of your post.

No matter.

1:04 PM  
Blogger RD said...

First, it's my partner's post, not mine. He generally doesn't respond to comments in his posts, but since you asked a question, I thought I'd answer it for him since he's unlikely to.

Second, the post makes perfect sense if you are familiar with the history of the antagonism between the military and journalists regarding this issue over the last two years. There's a lot of background to this issue.

2:44 PM  
Blogger trulyblueamerican said...

Well then we'll still leave it like that: unanswered.

Because your partner IS, essentially, saying (using my admittedly extreme example): "Hitler kissed a baby, therefore he couldn't have done anything wrong."

In this story, it's quite possible that BOTH are happening: US military is targeting journalists, and this story of the US military protecting this journalist.

I'm not making a judgement one way or another on the accuracy of the "military targets journalists" story. But one story--protecting a journalist--offers zero evidence either way to the accuracy of the other story--targeting journalists.

3:04 PM  

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