Monday, May 29, 2006

War has many faces

The Mandarin is one of the few people who still watch the CBS evening news (when he gets home from work early enough to catch it). CBS rotates a couple of faces through its Baghdad bureau, and one of them is the excellent reporter Kimberly Dozier. Not long ago, after Bob Woodruff of ABC was wounded, the Mandarin had a premonition that something similar would happen to Ms. Dozier. Today it did.

Two members of a CBS News team, veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, and soundman James Brolan, 42, were killed and correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, was seriously injured Monday when the Baghdad military unit in which they were embedded was attacked.

They were reporting on patrol with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb.

CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, sustained serious injuries in the attack and underwent surgery at a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad. She is in critical condition, but doctors are cautiously optimistic about her prognosis."

Shrub has already lost the support of a majority of the nation for his crusade in the Middle East. Very few people are buying his ever-shifting line on the war any more, whether to find non-existent WMD, or to avenge Saddam's attempt to assassinate Shrub's father (the Mandarin's personal favorite), or to "spread freedom" in countries where free elections will probably result in victory for Islamic fundamentalists who hate us for our support of Israel's actions in Palestine,...

The number of military dead and wounded in Iraq is approaching 20,000. To borrow an image from President Bush (Shrub's daddy), these casualties produce "a thousand points" of outrage and grief. Those points are gradually coalescing into a national will so strong that not even Shrub can ignore it. Public reaction to casualties among well-known people like Bob Woodruff, or Pat Tilman, or now Kimberly Dozier, may also help hasten the end of Shrub's not-so-excellent adventure in Iraq.

The Mandarin is grateful for free speech (without it John Ashcroft or Alberto Gonzalez would have jailed the Mandarin a long time ago) and especially a free press. But defending our freedoms has a price, both abroad and at home - where we should always remember the wise words of Ben Franklin:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.

The Mandarin wonders if old Ben had a premonition, too.

1 comment:

Fancy Dirt said...

When I saw Bob Woodruff on the TV screen reporting from Iraq, before he was wounded, I was shocked and got a sick feeling. I said, "Why is he there? He shouldn't be there!" I tried to calm myself by saying I was just probably over reacting, because of David Bloom's death. But I've seen many reporters in Iraq before and never had such a strong feeling of fear for them.
I'm no Manderin, just an M'.