Truth In War
Anne at Peevish
wonders if journalists are at extra risk in Iraq
. The simple answer is: absolutely.
The insurgents will attack reporters as "collaborators with the occupation forces", and coalition forces will attack them because they aren't coalition forces. Being a "neutral observer" is not a viable option under these conditions. It's not that they are reporters, it's that they are bystanders.
This is a guerrilla war: an attack could come from any side. The insurgents are a collection of groups with individual goals. The goals of one group may be diametrically opposed to other groups, and they may shoot each other if they come in contact. The only thing they agree on is killing coalition and Iraqi government forces.
The coalition and Iraqi forces are so on edge that they react with violence to any change in their environment. For them the goal is staying alive until tomorrow. If you have never been in the situation it is hard to understand that prison looks like an acceptable alternative to their current situation. Three meals a day and a safe place to sleep looks good to someone who is getting shot at daily and eating MREs.
The failure to hold to rotation dates is a major problem. That exit date is what holds many people together; it a goal. When you lose that goal, when you don't know how long you are going to be in the situation, you lose hope. Stop-Loss orders and tour extensions destroy morale.
Not even Johnson and McNarmara were that stupid and out of touch with the military.