What Katie Couric Should Be Reporting From Iraq

This post written by Lucinda Marshall, originally appeared on the Feminist Peace Network

Given the number of journalists that have been killed in Iraq, I have no idea what motivates American journalists to continue to don flak jackets for the purposes of 'reporting' whatever it is that the Pentagon wants them to report. But kudos to CBS's Katie Couric for having the courage to point out that that was exactly what she was doing.

In an interview on Face the Nation she duly praises the marketplace that the military took her to visit,
"Well, I was surprised, you know, after I went to eastern Baghdad, I was taken to the Allawi Market, which is near Haifa Street, which was the scene of that very bloody gun battle back in January. And, you know, this market seemed to be thriving, and, uh, there were a lot of people out and about, a lot of family-owned businesses and vegetable stalls. And so you do see signs of life that seem to be normal."
Presumably the same one that Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) praised for looking like a marketplace in Indiana. The staged nature of the obligatory marketplace photo op bears an eery resemblance to the Nazi's model concentration camps of WWII. But then Couric qualifies her remarks,
"Of course, that's what the U.S. military wants me to see. So you have to keep that in mind, as well. But, there, I think, there definitely are areas where the situation is improving. But everyone agrees, Bob, that if these people, the people of Iraq, do not get basic services like electricity, like running water, it will be impossible to win their hearts and minds and have them fully support the national unity government or anything that's going on here."
It should be noted that $6 billion dollars later, the rebuilding of Iraq's energy sector still needs $50 billion more to once again be functional. One wonders if before the Bush Administration bombed the country to smithereens they ever took a moment to calculate the cost of rebuilding what they had destroyed. But I digress, here is my fantasy:
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