Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Journalists Under Attack

Legendary columnist Georgie Anne Geyer is still the best in the business, in my book. When it comes to international politics she’s been at it for over 40 years; Geyer has seen and heard it all. “Journalists Under Attack” is her newest piece on the disturbing trend toward targeting journalists in modern warfare. She manages to also share her savvy takes on a few related matters:

“...There was a Brigadoon time in war coverage, when many sides tried to obey the Geneva Accords. The accords, intended to regularize and civilize warfare, tried to assure that odd people on the battlefield, such as journalists and humanitarian workers, would be considered ‘non-combatants.’ Under this designation, we were, if captured, supposed to be exchanged to our home countries and spared.

“Ironically, in Vietnam, the Geneva Accords were generally observed, not only by the North Vietnamese ‘regulars’ but also by the Viet Cong. It was when the bitter Cambodian civil war began in the 1970s and the maddened Khmer Rouge took over that the first real break with the accords took place. It has been a downhill road from there, with any attempt to regularize warfare brutally discarded and disdained by the guerrillas, insurgents, terrorists, tribalists and suicide bombers who have so heinously transformed warfare.”

It’s said the reporter character played by Sigourney Weaver in the movie, “The Year of Living Dangerously (1982),” was based on Geyer's exploits as a young woman playing what was then a man's game.

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