Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Drive Time

I think that, for the most part, we get an all too antiseptic view of the war and U.S. occupation of Iraq. Our major networks a great for statistics and 30 second synopsis stories of bombings or sectarian violence.

I'm not sure these blubs add any understanding to the real human disaster that is Iraq. Even if you have heard that there are two million refugees who have fled Iraq and the violence, it's unlikely the average citizen really understands the crisis in Iraq and the surrounding countries.

But National Public Radio takes such a different approach to reporting, that listeners to their news programming have a real and very personal view of the effects of the invasion, the war, the occupation and the horrible religious fundamentalist violence on a country that really did want salvation from Saddam Hussein, but has only received the damnation of eternal violence.

This morning's story about the extremely rare Iraqi immigrant to the United States was simply stunning. But it is just one installment in a continuing story covering the refugees attempting to flee near certain death at the hands of religious fundamentalists who target the educated, professional middle class Iraqi's along with anyone who is seen as cooperating with the American occupiers.

You are left wondering, like the grade school girl in the story, why the United States allows nearly unrestrained immigration on citizens from some countries (legally or illegally), yet turns its back on the Iraqi's who have been the United States greatest personal allies.

The continuing story also chronicles American soldiers who give monthly personal financial support to their Iraqi friends who often actually saved GI's lives, but are now forced to flee to Syria or hide from the so-called insurgents.

The stories are lengthy, detailed and extremely personal. The listener is FORCED to get to know and to care about these people, And they are people, not statistics, not numbers, not nameless victims.

If you don't listen to NPR each morning or evening on your local public radio station, I urge you to listen to these stores on-line.

This week most public radio stations are conducting their annual fund drive, called "Drive Time." If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to donate to this, the last and only great news network.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Many well-taken, eloquently made statements in here, Wizard. May I express my appreciation? I believe I speak for your more taciturn readership.