A Reporter’s Diary

Good news from Iraq — of courage and nightmares
Thu Feb 1, 2007 7:51am ET30

Alastair Macdonald is about to end an assignment of almost two years in Baghdad as the Reuters Bureau Chief for Iraq. In the following story, he reflects on the difficulties of covering Iraq and on the work of the Iraqi colleagues he leaves behind.

By Alastair Macdonald – Witness

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – There is good news in Iraq.

For Reuters journalists, this week’s high points were the safe return of two colleagues seized by a death squad which shot two other hostages and the survival of the teenage nephew of another employee who was kidnapped and tortured in Baghdad.

The lows, as I complete nearly two years running the news agency’s operations in Iraq, were sending condolences to the family of our former driver Ismail Ibrahim, who was gunned down in Mosul this month, and trying to find out from U.S. forces why they seem intent on detaining our reporter in Ramadi for a third time.

All in all, as I write to the sound of mortars rattling our windows in central Baghdad, it’s a routine week, four years into a war that has turned into a bad dream for millions of people — and in which I discovered a cure for nightmares.

More on that later.

As a foreign correspondent, it’s my job to be a witness to history but never before have I been so blind without the eyes of others: local colleagues who brave the mean streets of Iraq since attacks on foreigners turned our newsroom into my prison.

Read the rest here.

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