‘Why We Write’

While we’re back on the subject of Iraq, I need to point to a piece by Michael Yon: ‘Why We Write.’ He’s a freelance journalist (whom I see described elsewhere as a former Green Beret) who has reported from both Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s caught some flak recently for his assessment that the situation in the latter theater is deteriorating rapidly:

"… In 2007 and 2008, at this rate,we will face an extremely fierce enemy
in Afghanistan, one that we already know is courageous and tough, an
enemy left mostly unmolested while they brazenly guard the poppy fields
that will make them rich with money to buy weapons. Explosives. Rockets. …

"… No matter what anyone says, the Afghanistan I just left is easily as
dangerous as the Iraq I spent almost a year in. But whereas we are
beating back the enemies and winning in Iraq, the enemies in
Afghanistan are getting stronger as the seconds tick. We need to listen
to our military experts and to our young soldiers, too. Like Ernie Pyle
once noted, nobody is more plainspoken than combat soldiers. The ones I
met in Afghanistan call that the ‘forgotten war’ but unless things
change dramatically, 2007 will be a year everyone remembers in

Beyond his assessment of what’s happening in the war zones, he’s got some compelling things to say about the role of journalists in this war.

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