posted on Apr, 8 2003 @ 10:01 PM
Robert Fisk: Is there some element in the US military that wants to take out journalists?
09 April 2003
First the Americans killed the correspondent of al-Jazeera yesterday and wounded his cameraman. Then, within four hours, they attacked the Reuters
television bureau in Baghdad, killing one of its cameramen and a cameraman for Spain's Tele 5 channel and wounding four other members of the Reuters
Was it possible to believe this was an accident? Or was it possible that the right word for these killings ñ the first with a jet aircraft, the second
with an M1A1 Abrams tank ñ was murder? These were not, of course, the first journalists to die in the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Terry Lloyd of
ITV was shot dead by American troops in southern Iraq, who apparently mistook his car for an Iraqi vehicle. His crew are still missing. Michael Kelly
of The Washington Post tragically drowned in a canal. Two journalists have died in Kurdistan. Two journalists ñ a German and a Spaniard ñ were killed
on Monday night at a US base in Baghdad, with two Americans, when an Iraqi missile exploded amid them.
And we should not forget the Iraqi civilians who are being killed and maimed by the hundred and who ñ unlike their journalist guests ñ cannot leave
the war and fly home. So the facts of yesterday should speak for themselves. Unfortunately for the Americans, they make it look very like murder.
The US jet turned to rocket al-Jazeera's office on the banks of the Tigris at 7.45am local time yesterday. The television station's chief
correspondent in Baghdad, Tariq Ayoub, a Jordanian-Palestinian, was on the roof with his second cameraman, an Iraqi called Zuheir, reporting a pitched
battle near the bureau between American and Iraqi troops. Mr Ayoub's colleague Maher Abdullah recalled afterwards that both men saw the plane fire
the rocket as it swooped toward their building, which is close to the Jumhuriya Bridge upon which two American tanks had just appeared.