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Tuesday, April 08, 2003
The nasty business

I have the following pieces of information for you to put together. (Of course, some of it may be corrected/modified/denied:or simply forgotten):
1. Two Reuters cameramen have been killed on the fifteenth floor of the Palestine hotel.

2. A French crew filmed the tank shell the hotel

3. Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks said that a tank came under rocket and sniper fire from the foyer of this hotel. [Some correction needed, surely - Ed.]. He said that the only way to be safe was to be "embedded" with the coalition.

4. Three hundred journalists in and around the hotel say that there was no fire from anywhere near.
Put this together with the bombing of al-Jazeera, killing another cameraman, and the firing of a maverick missile at a column of coalition forces in the north. Then, one has to ask "What are the cowboys up to?" Piss-poor briefing at the very least, given that al-Jazeera staff had told the coalition where they were. John Simpson, who was with the coalition forces in the north and who narrowly escaped serious injury, or worse, called the incident criminal or something similar.

It may seem hypocritical to mourn the loss of a few journalists (but, proportionally, their death rate is the highest of all) when so many civilians are being killed. However, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that many Americans are trigger happy. It happened in Vietnam and it's just one of the reasons why apprehension about this war and its consequences is entirely justified.

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