I understand the 60 Minutes episode I saw today about Hadithah originally aired in March 2007 and I suppose it reflected the situation at the time. But it is amazing how much things have changed and some mention of that in the follow up segment might have been nice.
The 60 Minutes segment shows the bad old days in Hadithah. They said that most people in Hadithah are hostile to coalition forces. Back then maybe; today things are different. I walk through Hadithah a lot. If people are hostile, they don’t show it. People smile and wave at us. I frequently stop to talk to shopkeepers and pedestrians. Not only have I encountered no hostility, but many people thank us for the security we have brought to the place. I have featured pictures of my walks through Hadithah on many occasions.
Sometimes dumpy; no longer scary
The 60 Minutes episode is literally historical in that it shows history and a world that has changed. Clearly the 60 Minutes team wanted to make things look as bad as possible. The pictures of all the Marines were grainy black and white. That is the old journalist propaganda trick. Say what you want. Show the picture and it trumps the words. Nobody takes black and white photos anymore. You know that 60 Minutes took color photos and made them black and white.
And they feature John Murtha. What else do I need to say?
A tragedy happened in Hadithah during a complicated and dangerous time. Those involved will be forever scarred. 60 Minutes could have tried a little more fairness. Anytime you see a black and white photo that isn't historical or something from an Ansel Adams collection, you know somebody is manipulating you.
My Iraqi pictures are color. They show you in full color what you see today when you go to Hadithah or places nearby. It is not paradise, but much better. I wish journalists would do some follow up on their stories, but that wouldn’t fit their story lines. Sometimes their omissions are important.
BTW - Sorry I wrote fast. The 60 Minutes just annoyed me and I had to grab some pictures I already had. Next time I go to Hadithah I will take a full sequence.