Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pulitzer Prize of Photojournalism: I do not know what photojournalism's Pulizer Prize is but whatever it is this photograph should get it.

Click on the link or copy and paste it in your browser. Scroll up to one of the most moving pictures I have ever seen of war. It reminded me of the Ira Hayes photo of the flag raisers in Iwo Jima. This belongs as a sculpture memorial in Washington DC. U.S. Marines carry a comrade wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) to a waiting medevac helicopter, near the town of Marjah in Helmand Province, August 21, 2010. It says it all!!
Rachel Maddow Excellence in Journalism: After watching Rachel Maddow report from Baghdad as American troops seemingly leave Iraq I felt compelled to write to her during the American so called exit eight years after the longest war in American history -- longer than even World War II. We, of course, have left ONLY in part. Over fifty thousand troops remain and 7000 private security forces which may grow over time. Her efforts were worthy of many kudos!

Rachel, I taped your show last evening which was broadcast from Baghdad with NBC reporter, Richard Engel as your tour guide. Both of you have given us and your nation the BEST in television news journalism. I am staggered by Richard's brilliance and excellent efforts from the very beginning of the war, throughout its chaos to its recent pseudo-end. You, however, especially in the last five minutes of your broadcast last evening, brought home to us the essence -- the very revelatory essence -- of what this egregious war has meant. You have made it more than statistics of 40 deaths here and 60 deaths there. The deaths are simply numbers to most Americans who, generally, were and are uninvolved in its violence or its history. They listen to the news and go off to Starbucks.

Watching you I actually FELT the terrible sometimes 115 degree HEAT of Iraq. It was a metaphor for the intense heat of war. Again and again I realize why it is so important, as our forefathers so presciently knew, for the President to ask and Congress to DECLARE war so that things as terrible as what has happened in Iraq do not happen cavalierly again. Our bombs blast human beings creating death and mayhem while Americans at home are far removed from what our government has done in our name. People need to FEEL the terrible chaos of war and YOU last evening have reported it in a way that, I believe, few journalists have before. You are a gift to us, to your nation, and to journalism.

We are smitten by your excellence. Although it gets redundant, I know, you are the BEST that journalism has to offer and I can only hope that one of the joys of our life will be to continue to listen to you on MSNBC from 9:00 pm. to 10:00 p.m. every weekday without fail! I hope you will be home soon SAFELY.

Thank you for your excellent work!