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23 January 2007 @ 12:39 pm
Read more about Somalia from a solider who's been there:

lawst, thank you so much for sharing your first person perspective.
Lawstlawst on January 23rd, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
My appologies for being snarky in your journal earlier this week. This last 2 monts has been rough with Somalia in the news. I can't even turn on the radio without hearing about it. I've been forced to either think about it again with my forebrain or completely cut myself off from all media sources. It's a wound that will heal as that country heals.
Sarah: woodssarmonster on January 24th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting your experiences and perspective, I added you as a friend because I'm very interested in your take on these things and your experiences in other countries. I don't expect you to add me, I just want to read what you feel like sharing.
Lawstlawst on January 24th, 2007 06:37 am (UTC)
I'm TMI lady. There's very little I don't share. I also tend to be rather, um...opinionated (read as bitchy, aggro, whatever). Good to meet you.
Kburgunder on January 24th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
You're totally forgiven, if there was ever anything to forgive in the first place. Your wisdom and insight always make it worthwhile, whether or not we agree. FWIW, I'd rather surround myself with passionate people I disagree with sometimes than apathetic ostriches (although the occasional disengaged zen master can be a nice break).
Cynickalcynickal on January 24th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting.
Too often we hear about things through "Analysts" who have never stepped foot out of the airport hotel.
Lawstlawst on January 24th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well, I have my opinions about analysts and reporters too. It took a pretty severe incident for my boss to realise just how strong the opinion was and how willing I was to back it up. After that my PSD no longer had to transport/escort/provide protection to media types.
Cynickalcynickal on January 24th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Driving off while laughing maniacly when they step into the bush to relieve themselves tends to do that.
Lawstlawst on January 24th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
No. Allowing them to be gutted for taking pictures without permission then taking my time to save them does it.

If you recall the news coming out of Somalia at the time, there was a gaping hole after October 3, 1993. This is because the life of every single reporter in country became forfeit. It was because those who were on the scene when our boys were being dragged naked through the streets chose to keep rolling cameras instead of helping. This wasn't just American sentiment either. Every soldier in country from every contingent wanted them dead.
Cynickalcynickal on January 24th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, how many reporters were there filming?

I know I'm going to catch hell for this, but as an Air Force brat that never served, I can't see what good 2 or 3 reporters could have done for 18 armed and trained Marines.

I have 2 sisters that have retired from service (Navy and Air Force) and as their brother I would have prefered that America saw what would have happened had it been them rather than to have a white-washed AP blurb.
Lawstlawst on January 24th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
At least 2 filming plus journalists. The excuse for not helping was that they thought the story was more important. Cameras are good blunt objects. What it boils down to is that they filmed and ran and didn't bother trying, not even when they were close enough to help.

Maybe they couldn't have done much good but they could have tried. They could have at least stuck around to pick up the bodies after the danger had passed. They had the stomach to watch but none to take care of the dead. Then they (the media in general) expected the soldiers who had seen what happened, either in the news or in person, to continue to protect them. It was their "right" to be there to film and so they assumed it was their "right" to have soldiers to be their personal body guards.

The guy who was with my team wouldn't shut up about it and talked about his hope to get a story like that. He was saying this to me as he sat in the front seat of my truck. When we stopped he refused to follow what he'd been told in the safety briefing. He was looking for his story and I (and my team) refused to be a part of it. He didn't die but we waited until the fray was over (all of about 1 minute, it stopped when his camera had been taken and unloaded) to collect him and his guts to get him back to help.

This is why the rules are so tight for embedded reporters in Iraq. Because left unchecked they look at soldiers as fodder for their stories and as personal body guards so they can do dumb things to get stories, not as human beings.
Cynickalcynickal on January 24th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
Their "right"?
That seems fairly unrealistic.

The guy you escorted didn't obey the safety briefing rules?
You have no responsibility for his wellfare.

Thanks for explaining for me.
Lawstlawst on January 24th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I'd have shot him myself if I'd have though I could get away with it.