Buttle's World

5 February, 2009

It’s Raining

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 10:57

Michael Yon reports from Israel about the rain of Hamas rockets.

In Sderot, I met up with the American-Israeli writer and Pajamas Media editor Allison Kaplan Sommer, who has lived in Israel for some 15 years, has three children and lives with her husband outside Tel Aviv. Together we went into the police station where the Israeli officers have saved hundreds of the rockets that have been fired from Gaza. Every journalist in Israel should see those rockets. The officer explained that the peak times for launch are when the kids are going or coming from school, and shoppers are in the open, for the greatest odds of casualties.

Yon wonders why Hamas is not charged with war crimes. That’s because, according to the so-called “Human Rights” NGOs like Amnesty International say that Hamas’ war crimes are too blatant and savage to investigate.

I’d have to say that Amnesty International is pretty blatant and savage itself.


More email from Michael Yon:

This will be a long year in Afghanistan, and I plan to spend about six months or more, there or in the region. Not looking forward to months of combat, but the war is only worsening and very few writers remain who will embed with combat forces for any length of time. I don’t know of any, actually, remaining who will go for months on end. Not sure how much of my 2009 will be with U.S. forces; some of our allies are requesting coverage and extending the red carpet, and it’s very important to know how our military alliance is doing. The alliance is key to the war. Whether it shows signs of falling apart, or sticking together, is crucial.

Embedding is very difficult, dangerous, time consuming, and expensive, and so long embeds simply do not seem to be happening.

My end-goal for 2009 is to bring back news and summary so that the reader will understand the overall trajectory of the war. Are we winning or losing? Is it worth it? What exactly are our goals in Afghanistan? I don’t know what our goals are. Does anyone know?

My reporting from 2006, unembedded in Afghanistan, proved that it is not necessary to embed with U.S. forces, or even to consult with commanders or the Pentagon, to predict the trajectory of the war with reasonable accuracy. I like covering combat forces simply because I like them. And they need coverage, especially so since practically nobody else will do it for them, but much of the decision making regarding embeds will be based on how much support derives from command. End goal: to accurately summarize for the reader the trajectory of the war, and long embeds might actually hinder my ability to predict the war.

Iraq only continues to improve. I plan to return to Iraq this year. That war truly is over. We can start bringing our men and women home, but it’s crucial to pay close attention to the advice of our military commanders.


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