John Hendren reports from Iraq today. It was a strange piece to say the least: after describing atrocities committed by Shiite extremists to enforce severe sexual repression, and other more typical atrocities he says, "but I've also been inspired by a soldier who agreed to an interview with a bullet in his leg; by American military surgeons who operated side by side on an Iraqi policeman and an Iraqi insurgent; and Iraqis who've returned to work with us despite death threats kidnappings and slain relatives."
There's nothing wrong on the face of it about reporting on the sexual repression of fanatic Shiites who kill a grocer for displaying vegetables in a way that only a pervert could see as "erotic" or kill a sheperd for not covering the privates of his goats. But what's the point? And then to contrast it with the oh-so-noble US soldier and military surgeons and Iraqis who work with "us." To me it smacks of the "Aren't we so civilized and aren't these people so barbaric and bizarre that in spite of trying to help them and democratize them, it's hopeless" argument.
Watching the Iraq War spiral deeper and deeper into failure for the US, I'm always watching and wondering who will be blamed for the failure. You can almost be certain that on NPR it won't be the criminal masterminds at the top of our government or their whole violent, arrogant, greedy project for Iraq that will be held to account.