Wednesday, 2 April 2003

War Is Not Working

by Peter Arnett

I am still in shock and awe at being fired. There is enormous sensitivity within the US government to reports coming out from Baghdad.

They don't want credible news organisations reporting from here because it presents them with enormous problems.

I reported on the original bombing for NBC and we were half a mile away from those massive explosions. Now I am really shocked that I am no longer reporting this story for the US and awed by the fact that it actually happened.

That overnight my successful NBC reporting career was turned to ashes. And why?

Because I stated the obvious to Iraqi television; that the US war timetable has fallen by the wayside.

I have made those comments to television stations around the world and now I'm making them again in the Daily Mirror.

I'm not angry. I'm not crying. But I'm also awed by this media phenomenon.

The right-wing media and politicians are looking for any opportunity to be critical of the reporters who are here, whatever their nationality. I made the misjudgment which gave them the opportunity to do so.

I gave an impromptu interview to Iraqi television feeling that after four months of interviewing hundreds of them it was only professional courtesy to give them a few comments.

That was my Waterloo - bang!

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