Saturday, January 20, 2007

From DC to Iraq

As many of you already know, a couple of months ago Bill at InDC Journal turned in his pajamas for body armor to become an embedded journalist in Iraq. He’s in Fallujah right now, and his reports are definitely worth reading.

In his post last Wednesday he talked about why he decided to stay in Fallujah rather than move on to Ramadi:

I’ve come to the conclusion that to have an idea of what’s going on in either city, you need to spend at least two to three solid weeks, ideally four, in each. Compounding the complexity is that the two cities and regions surrounding them are vastly different. All this makes the concept of authoritatively writing about either from Baghdad or DC, as some are inclined to do, all the more unrealistic. It’s perhaps possible with a wealth of contacts, but access to first-hand local perspectives is pretty helpful.

I think that’s an understatement.

Another piece from last week you’ll want to read is his interview with a Fallujan police officer. It’s too long to excerpt from effectively, so go over and read the whole thing.

Bill was just a regular blogger like me — except for being two or three decades younger — who decided to stop kibitzing from the sidelines and do something meaningful. He could have rested on his laurels from his journeywork in the Rathergate affair, but he didn’t.

Now he’s over there at the epicenter of the struggle against the Great Jihad, not to mention the epicenter of the civil war within our own culture. Unlike the Big Media journalists who hole up at the Palestine Hotel and never leave the Green Zone, he can give you some idea of what’s really going on in Iraq.

Bill took a leave of absence from his day job to go to Iraq. His travel expenses there and back were covered, but everything else he needed he had to raise on his own. Readers are advised to stop by InDC Journal and put something in the tip jar — it’s for a good cause.

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