“You’ll Never Know What We Did”

This post from Callimachus deserves a breadth and depth of coverage that it will never get. The injustice in this story is wrenching, not just for us, but especially for the Iraqis, and for those like the story teller below.

Callimachus has put up a long entry from a woman named Kat who worked in Iraq on construction – and reconstruction – for two years. She is understandably sad and bitter about the memory hole into which her efforts disappear before they’re even finished. It seems almost deliberately evil, the ignorance we have toward what has been accomplished. But let her speak for herself:
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Reconstruction is the eternally under-reported third leg of the Iraq story (the other two are overthrow of Saddam and removal of his threat, and establishing a stable Iraqi popular control of the country). It was part of what we went in there to do, and its success or failure is part of the full measure of success or failure of our entire operation.

Yet on this important story, our media blew it. Who can name a single contractor who did work in Iraq, besides the one that begins with “H” and maybe Blackwater USA? How many people can describe accurately the relationship between Halliburton and KBR? How many faces of Iraq contractors did you ever see in the news, except the ones who got kidnapped and beheaded? How many were the subject of news stories, or were quoted in any of them?

Among many other things, Kat says, disgustedly:

I need to say, I have a lot of anger here, and I apologize for that. Unfortunately I think you’re going to see a lot more of it in the future from others, especially if this war continues to be played more like a political football game than a real war within the press and much of the government. There’s a lot at stake, from the kids like my little brother that we have fighting it, through the people who have tried to rebuild Iraq, to the long-term futures of several nations.

It’s just not as trivial as it continues to be presented, on any level. Some in the media tend to believe the Iraq story can only be related through scenes of blood. They are still trying to find the monks burning, or the naked children running along the roads of Viet Nam. But there is much more to this war than that, and now, just as then, they simply miss the big picture.

From what I saw, much of the media is simply lazy, and most of it is more concerned with money and personal politics than in delivering a good product with honesty. This is an opinion, and is a nasty, crappy thing to say to people who spend countless hours busting their asses in a tearing rush to deliver basic news to people. But understand, I’m not addressing that comment to the rank and file whose job it is to take what is available and deliver it to the masses. I’m speaking to those who decide what news to actually cover, and to those who actually provide the coverage.

If nothing else, read her section on Halliburton and the one on “The Big Picture.

This is a crucial post. Thank you Kat, for writing it, and thank you, Callimachus, for putting this story up for the rest of us.

Come on Time.com, you claim you’re reading blogs ( we got a mass emailing from them yesterday saying so…thus it must be true, hmmm?). Well, read this one. And I dare you to have the humility to print it.

7 thoughts on ““You’ll Never Know What We Did”

  1. Lots of untold stories over here. Usually the only time civilians get written about is when they get killed, or when Dick Cheney can be blamed for some scandal.

    This is a good article. Somebody needs to do a similar article about all the TCN’s, the Third Country Nationals, the Filipinos, Indians, Sri Lankans, Ugandans, etc., doing good things for our troops, living on the FOBs with us, getting mortared and rocketed along with everybody else.

  2. The only way to correct this media blindness is to accuse them of being “racist” and “Islamophobic” and “post-colonialist” in their purposely-slanted reporting which ignores the valiant Iraqis working to rebuild their own country, in the face of terrorism. A humble people who are being callously overlooked by the “indifferent Western media” purveying its “globalist agenda”.

    What else could it be but “bigotry” on the part of an “imperialist” (if not “Zionist“) Media to ignore the vast majority of good Iraqis in favor of the small minority of bad ones?

    Sound blatantly “racist” and crypto-“Islamophobic to me.

    Like cures like.

    The Media’s own knee-jerk b.s. thrown back at them may be the ethical homeopathy they require to correct their “culturally hegemonic” and “patronizing” ‘oversight’.

  3. Dymphna:

    The blogpost on OWD that I linked to in the first comment above is a total washout. I made a complete hash of it. The only thing of any value in it are links to your post and the full column in Done With Mirrors. My bad. All I can hope is that nobody paid any attention.
    To anyone unlucky enough to have accessed it, I can only apologize.

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