this is our war book jacket

WAR CHRONICLES

Sometimes I am simply amazed at the print and television media reporting from Iraq.

This war has been chronicled more than any conflict in history; thousands if not hundreds of thousands of stories will be written and broadcast by the time it is over, if it ever is.

Embedded journalists have had unbelievable access to soldiers.

I constantly see journalists interviewed on television, including C-span, about their latest books; these journalists almost would have had to sleep with our troops to know the facts that they reveal in their writings. The soldiers contribute also to this "blow by blow" chronicling of the war with their access to the internet, blogging, emails, computers, and camcorders.

I don't know how I feel about it. There's a side of me that thinks it is somewhat unseemly. We are at war and war is too horrible to chronicle. It begins to fall into the framework of entertainment which most Americans seem to want. In video games, now, the "player" can be a participant in combat operations. I am often just blown away by it.

grunts view of war
Now comes GQ's(Gentlemen's Quarterly's) photography book, This Is Our War!( GQ is not exactly the type of magazine that one would associate with war; in my opinion, it looks like more of an upscale Hustler without the photographs.)

GQ says This Is Our War is the first book to tell the story of the Iraq war through photographs American soldiers took themselves. According to the magazine, it took a year to collect the photographs, some 250 of them culled from over 10,000 that the soldiers sent in themselves. GQ says it is the soldier's war as they saw it.

There is also a yet to be released book entitled Blood Stripes. The book description on Amazon states it is "a sometimes harrowing, often humorous, and occasionally tragic look at the Marine Corps from the inside out in its struggle with the insurgency in Iraq."

There have always been journalists who have chronicled wars and produced several really great books, but they have all been after it was over; a reflective sort of conscientiousness. Now this! Very interesting to say the least. KT

April 07 2006
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