If there’s one skill I’ve perfecting in my four years as a war correspondent, it’s how to sleep anytime, anywhere. Give me a chair or a flat surface and four or five minutes of inactivity, and I’ll go right to sleep. Doesn’t matter if I’m at a refugee camp surrounded by screaming starving babies, on [...]
Archive of Aug 2008
“Deploying a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force in conflict-wracked Darfur will take many more months, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, citing growing insecurity and logistical difficulties.” As of July 31, the force had just over 8,100 military personnel and fewer than 1,900 police on the ground. This according to The Associated Press. Had the so-called “hybrid [...]
Skewz is a website that invites readers to tease the political bias out of news stories. How do I skew? Vipul Vyas interviewed me for the site’s podcast. We talk about adjusting expectations for a post-war Iraq, among other subjects. Enjoy.
Columbia Journalism Review points out a wrinkle in the Somalia abduction case: All three journalists share a distinct vulnerability: they are freelance. Being freelance, no media outlet is directly responsible for their welfare in Somalia. These days, even major media outlets are forced to cut costs on foreign coverage and rely on freelance journalists to [...]
“By now the whole newspaper-reading world has heard of the Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, who was kidnapped in Somalia earlier this week,” Graham Holliday writes over at From the Frontline: Some of the world is also aware that Australian snapper Nigel Brennan was also kidnapped at the same time. Google search on “”Amanda Lindhout” Somalia” [...]
Last weekend Somali gunmen seized two foreign journalists and their Somali colleagues in an apparently pre-planned attack. Evidence points to an inside job, perhaps by the reporters’ security detail. For days there was no indication where Aussie Nigel Brennan and Canadian Amanda Lindhout (pictured) were being held or even why. Now it’s all becoming clearer. [...]
Axe for Sale
Long-time readers might wonder what happened to my autobiographical comic strip “War is Boring,” which was the rationale for launching this humble blog 18 months ago. The strip basically disappeared six months ago, in the wake of my trip to Somalia. But it didn’t die. Quite the contrary. After Somalia, my artist Matt Bors and [...]
Tom Rhodes, Africa co-ordinator for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, told CTV.ca on Monday that his sources say the [Somali] militants are looking for a safe house to hold [kidnapped journalists] Amanda Lindhout (pictured) and Nigel Brennan. Once they have found such a place, it is believed they will make a formal ransom [...]
When I was in Somalia last year, the road connecting Mogadishu to the refugee town of Afgooye belonged to the occupying Ethiopian army. There were foot patrols and checkpoints everywhere. It was on this road that two foreign journalists, Aussie Nigel Brennan and Canadian Amanda Lindhout, plus two Somali bodyguards and a translator, were abducted [...]
Two foreign journalists, Aussie Nigel Brennan (pictured) and Canadian Amanda Lindhout, have been kidnapped outside Mogadishu while reporting on refugees. The Australian Herald Sun‘s coverage is hopelessly optimistic: A Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said the Government was “urgently investigating” the reports. “The Australian high commissioner has made contact with Somali authorities to seek further [...]
Journos Kidnapped in Somalia
Getting shot at, mortared or blown up — these are not the scariest things in my line of work. The thing I’m most terrified of is abduction. The uncertainty, the sustained grinding fear, the creeping madness that comes from knowing you’re probably going to die … and can’t do anything about it. That’s my nightmare. [...]
Earlier this month I accompanied the USS Kearsarge on a medical mission to Latin America. It’s all part of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ “soft power” strategy. Now World Politics Review has the video! Click the thumb below.