April 19, 2004

Talk to the Human Shields

Wretchard points to an important attack launched by insurgents (300 is a pretty large unit action and they were wearing uniforms)

According to Marine snipers reporting to their commanders by radio, some of the insurgents fired at Marines and then hid behind children.

"We're trying to get the snipers in position for a shot," Major George Schreffler told the other commanders through tactical radio communications. "They're looking at guys in blue uniforms and others with black clothes and black masks. Some are using children to shield themselves. We will not take shots in which we could possibly hit children."

I've seen lots of reports of this sort of thing happening. What I've never seen is anybody going out and trying to find these children afterward and interviewing them. Why aren't journalists getting the story out of this happening and putting a human face on these modern day human shields. What do the children's parents think? What is the legal situation of combatants doing this? What are the religious scholars saying about it. Really, this is a huge story begging to be covered in depth and at all angles.

It's certainly not a good news story where you can be accused of happy talk, nothing to make people happy about Iraq here. And I'm very sure that Al Jazeera and co. are not covering this at all. What's the rationale for our media not filing gripping human interest stories about these children? There's no physical danger in reporting such a story. It's all after the fact interviews. You don't have to use their real names. I'm sure you won't find any security concerns blocking reporting and the military press officers will trip over themselves to help you out. Finally, you'll steal a march on the arab media and their claims of massive casualties among children.

The only answers that I can come up with are simply not very complimentary about our news gathering professionals. I'd like to think there are other reasons. Anybody care to supply some?

Posted by TMLutas at April 19, 2004 09:23 AM