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Monday, June 16, 2008

This Week in Ware

The past week has seen some extraordinary reporting out of Baghdad from Michael Ware ... so much so that I decided it was about darned time I unleashed an all-Michael post!

The week started "quietly" enough, with an update on the Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA is the treaty that will allow US troops to stay in Iraq after the UN mandate authorizing the 2003 invasion expires at the end of this year) for last Monday's The Situation Room:

On Wednesday, word broke of an incredible exclusive to be unveiled on that night's Anderson Cooper 360 -- Michael's sources within the Iraqi insurgency (now the US-backed Awakening Councils) had given him copies of several hard drives used by al Qaeda in Iraq:

Michael also wrote an article for Papers give peek inside al Qaeda in Iraq. It would seem that AQI was using these computers as electronic HR departments, containing employment applications, pay records, plans, and most disturbingly, dozens of videos submitted as proof of executions.

The prepared piece was bumped from 360 that night due to breaking news, which allowed for a bit more promotion, at least:

The piece did run on Thursday:

Friday morning brought us another exclusive out of Baghdad: the SoFA talks are deadlocked, as the Iraqis have rejected not one but two US proposals, and have now come up with a very clever twist, which will use our bureaucracy against us:

(Oh, but we Americans sure do think that political gamesmanship was invented in Washington, don't we? Ha!)

Michael was also one of the panelists on Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS (which would appear to have been filmed on Thursday) to discuss the current situation in Iraq. First, Fareed asks him to respond to a recent Brookings Institution report that says that things have improved there. Yes... but...:

Fareed later asks him about the affects of the enormous walls we have put up to segregate the different neighborhoods of Baghdad:

Oh, but the week wasn't over quite yet! On today's American Morning (in the midst of yet another sandstorm) Michael did another summary of the current state of affairs in Iraq -- the reasons for the success of the surge, and the realities of the SoFA negotiations as well as a possible withdrawal of US troops:

And that was only a look at six of the 15 clips I posted about Michael this week -- quite the intense week for our favorite straight-shooting, ass-kicking, former-rugby-playing ex-lawyer war correspondent, currently in residence at CNN's Baghdad bureau. (Not sure whether anyone has told Wolf yet, but Michael is now the only western journalist to have lived in Iraq throughout the war. Come on, Wolf, the man deserves his own promo phrase!)

But seriously... as I have soapboxed many times, we are very, very fortunate to have a journalist of his caliber and bravery working for an American network. Good onya, Michael!

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Sapphire said...

This Week in Ware certainly made up for the many weeks we did not have Michael on at all. Very cool post Cyn!

Mavis said...

It has been a busy week for Michael.
I feel his report on AlQueda coming apart from within is fascinating. I am not an expert on the Koren, but I think this proves it is not as evil a book as some make it to be.

jodi54 said...

Great post, Cyn. Michael's comments have been buzzing around the net like crazy.

As the definitive voice for what's going on - I hope that Michael is in Iraq and can meet with Senator Obama when he visits. Don't know when that will be, although certainly Michael and crew are due for a well-deserved break.

I hope Michael's critics, with their shallow knee-jerk attitudes can begin to see what he's been trying to accomplish - a true understanding of all sides.

The al Qaeda cache gives us insight into their inner workings .... and I think also displays how plugged-in Michael is... how he's respected by all those who've had contact with him ... including insurgents and former insurgents. He's been honest and fair ... and though I don't know the particulars, it sounds like Michael's contacts may have hooked him up with the al Qaeda material.
That's as good as it gets.

MWmcFan said...

Excellent post Cyn!
I think history will write Michael Ware as the most comprehensive unbiased brave and courageous war correspondent of our time! Mick has so much passion for the stories he covers and all sides know it. He gets at the truth of what is really going on. He is a true gem.

maxie1218 said...

Great summary of Michael Ware's incredible reporting throughout the week.

I hope CNN realizes what a gem they have in Michael Ware...Obama's campaign would be wise to tap into the wealth and depth of Ware's understanding of the situation in Iraq.

Delie said...

As a CNN International viewer, I always read the ATC posts with lots of curiosity. Your CNN is so different than mine, so many anchors, reporters and newsprograms I have never seen, nor heard of. But this "straight-shooting, ass-kicking, former-rugby-playing ex-lawyer war correspondent" (Great, Cyn ;-)!)is surely one of the best reasons to watch CNN Int!
He has changed my view of this war. And I am so impressed each time I see one of his reports. The last week was awesome...

Great post, Cyn. Thanks.