Saturday, August 27, 2005

Billmon Respects Some War Reporters

I spent 2004-2005 rusticating in Germany, discovering blogs, and reading Vietnam war history, which latter I'd spent most of my life adamantly ignoring because it had been thrown at me for so long. What I found in the Vietnam histories were extraordinarily well-researched narratives by former war-correspondants: people who had been on the ground, people whose reports had been censured, edited, or ignored.

Billmon's most recent post, at the very minimum, gives us names of journalists to look for on bookshelves in the future. While I'm going to try to remember what names he trusts, my current filtering devices--look for details and atmosphere, don't believe official statements, look for qualifications and admissions of influence--seem to have kept me appropriately skeptical of this administration's plans since early 2002.

Someday, maybe, we'll read the histories we deserve, and it's more than likely that at least one of Billmon's names will write one of them.


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