Fallen journalists in Iraq

Jamie DeLoma

Soldiers are not the only ones that fall in times of battle. Just this past week alone, two American journalists died in Iraq while covering the war.

Michael Kelly, editor at large of the Atlantic Monthly was killed on April 3 on assignment for the periodical. Meanwhile, David Bloom, a correspondent for NBC News died at the gates of Baghdad of pulmonary embolism on April 6.

Even though Bloom did not die in combat, he still died in a war zone, and ought to be commended for his bravery and his undying desire to inform the world.

While it is very sad when a member of the military is killed in and out of combat, we must remember that they are not the only ones that are risking their lives to serve and protect us.

Our men and women in uniform enter danger’s way constantly to help protect, what seems to be in, United States’ best interest. They travel around the world spreading democracy and liberating people on almost every continent. They also ensure that the U.S. is protected and free from blackmail, threats and immediate risk whenever possible.

Journalists carry out similar tasks. While our troops carry guns and weaponry, our journalists carry pens and paper. They travel around the world to ensure that we all know what is going on, and they bring us the facts to decide whether or not we should enter a certain region.

For the most part, journalists and our military go in hand in hand and are dependant upon each other. Without a journalistic presence, the Iraqi government could bring false accusations forward about war crimes, the killing of civilians and other atrocities that just are not true, without anyone really knowing who to believe.

As Americans we may believe our government when they say there is no substance to the claims, but surely many around the world, particularly in the Arab world, would not believe the U.S. government so readily. In a world of instant technology, it is crucial that journalists are on the front lines to protect our men and women in uniform, not so much physically, but certainly mentally.

And without the military, journalists would become much more easy targets. In this conflict alone, a half dozen or so freelance journalists were rounded up by the Iraqi government and were questioned and detained, many later released. No such instances occurred to the journalists embedded in military divisions.

In the past week, two of our best journalists died while reporting to us, and indeed to the world, what was really happening in Iraq.

They should be remembered as heroes to our nation for going out in the face of danger with the desire of protecting the name of our military as well as reporting what is really happening. They truly are some of America’s best.