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FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dahr Jamail

6645b0cc-5ee2-458a-b304-47655489aab0.jpg(Please welcome Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone – Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq – Siun)

At the core of our work as netroots are two beliefs: first, that individual voices have value and second, that the conventional media has failed to report truthfully about the most important events of our time.

Dahr Jamail’s work reporting from Iraq – and now his book Beyond the Green Zone – is a stunning example of what we miss when our media censors the authentic voices of people.

I had not realized that Dahr was such a true “citizen journalist” but listen to his interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now:

And if a guy like me, a mountain guide from Alaska, can get a laptop and a small digital camera and go to Iraq and start reporting on what’s happening and do things like break stories about home raids and torture and white phosphorus being used in Fallujah, then why can’t the corporate media, with their millions and millions of dollars and all the advanced high-tech equipment available to them, why can’t they do it? And that’s the unanswered question.

Dahr’s reporting has been read by many firepups – and we have often talked about his work during our discussions of Iraq – but it is in his new book that we are able to get the full picture, both of his experiences in Iraq and of the horrors that the Iraqi people have faced during America’s invasion and occupation of their land.

Beyond the Green Zone tells us about conditions in Iraq – the lack of employment, clean water, electricity, and above all the desperation of Iraqi doctors. Dahr has visited the hospitals and morgues and reports what he sees – not as cold statistics but as Iraqis face them. Yet even this pales as we read the stories so many Iraqis shared with Dahr and which he shares with us, giving voice to the horror our invasion has created.

As many of you know, Dahr was one of the few to enter Fallujah and to tell the real story of the people who suffered there. From the senseless killings of peaceful protesters that sparked the initial Fallujah battles to the use of white phosphorous and cluster bombs, Dhar reports from the inside.

The boxes of medical supplies we brought into the clinic were torn open immediately by desperate doctors. A woman entered, slapping her chest and face, and wailing as her husband carried in the dying body of her little boy. Blood was trickling off one of his arms, which dangled out of his father’s arms. Thus began my witnessing of an endless stream of women and children who had been shot by the U.S. soldiers and were now being raced into the dirty clinic, the cars speeding over the curb out front, and weeping family members carriying in their wounded…

Standing near the ambulance in frustration, Maki [the manager of the clinic] told us, “They (U.S. soldiers) shot the ambulance and they shot the driver after they checked his car, and knew he was carrying nothing. Then they shot him. And then they shot the ambulance. And now I have no ambulance to evacuate more than twenty wounded people…”

Another car skipped over the curb outside, and a man who was burned from head to toe was carried in on a stretcher. He surely died shortly, as there was no way this clinic could treat massive burns. Maki, frustrated and in shock, said “They say there is a cease-fire. They said twelve o‘clock, so people went out to do some shopping. Everybody who went out to do some shopping. Everybody who went out was shot and this place is full, and half of them are dead.”

Throughout the book, Dahr lets Iraqis speak for themselves and their stories are haunting and horrifying. The brutality of the occupying troops, the encouragement of sectarian divisions, the manipulation of the political forces – all are reported and documented and the impacts are shown in his interviews with everyday Iraqis.

This is the Iraq we do not see on CNN or read about in the Washington Post, the Iraq that is hidden behind all the talk of surges and improvement and surreal debates about policy that consistently ignore the reality on the ground, the terror we have brought to the lives of these people.

Beyond the Green Zone
is the very best of independent reporting – by a citizen who just could not stomach the lies, who put himself on the line to learn and tell the truth. This is an important book – for we, as citizens of the occupying power, have a responsibility to face what is being done in our name and then to do all we can to stop it.

CommunityFDL Main Blog

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dahr Jamail

6645b0cc-5ee2-458a-b304-47655489aab0.jpg(Please welcome Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone – Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq – Siun)

At the core of our work as netroots are two beliefs: first, that individual voices have value and second, that the conventional media has failed to report truthfully about the most important events of our time.

Dahr Jamail’s work reporting from Iraq – and now his book Beyond the Green Zone – is a stunning example of what we miss when our media censors the authentic voices of people.

I had not realized that Dahr was such a true “citizen journalist” but listen to his interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now:

And if a guy like me, a mountain guide from Alaska, can get a laptop and a small digital camera and go to Iraq and start reporting on what’s happening and do things like break stories about home raids and torture and white phosphorus being used in Fallujah, then why can’t the corporate media, with their millions and millions of dollars and all the advanced high-tech equipment available to them, why can’t they do it? And that’s the unanswered question.

Dahr’s reporting has been read by many firepups – and we (more…)

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Siun

Siun

Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com

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