Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Brave and the Bogus

The Christian Science Monitor is running a series by Jill Carroll that chronicles her time as a hostage of terrorists in Iraq. Carroll was pilloried by the usual suspects among the keyboard commando forces earlier this year for making a video critical of the occupation and praising her captors for their treatment of her (under duress while still held in captivity--by a group sympathetic to al Qaeda in Iraq that had already killed her Iraqi interpreter when abducting her). Of the many shameful episodes that our warbloggers will hopefully someday have to atone for, this outpouring of affected outrage stands out for its petty and senseless nature.
It was said that Carroll was critical of the war--God forbid--before her abduction; this, and the fact that she set out to get the story from the Iraqi point of view, were her true transgressions.
What this remarkably brave young woman did, after already serving as an embedded reporter with the Marines following them into what infantry grunts call the Shit, was leave the relative safety of that embed to witness more completely the war's effect on Iraq (seeking the facts on the ground, or, to leaven the phrase with the disdain of quotation marks as none other than Norman Podhoretz has taken to: "the facts on the ground"). Reporting the story. Perhaps it's also that her kidnapping illustrated dramatically just what a disaster the war is and how reporting on it is more dangerous than any other conflict in American history, contradicting the tired but persisting the-liberal-press-is-only-reporting-the-negative mythmeme, that galled them so.

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