Friday, March 21, 2003


Like most everybody else on the planet, I was taken aback when the attack on Iraq began on Wednesday night. I left the television on all day yesterday like a good journalism student should and found little to interest me except for testing my meager Arabic skills on the live feeds from Al-Jazeera television. It was one of the few times that the local news was more enlightening on world affairs than the networks, because they were able to highlight the main points of what was going on rather than featuring a flummoxed reporter in the studio cutting back and forth to reporters in the field who can't tell us anything due to classified information or technical difficulties. It's a bit sad that you find yourself watching hours of television waiting for something to blow up. It's pretty morbid.

But today, when things were indeed blowing up with authority, I felt pretty awful watching it. I don't think it's a terrible thing that we're able to see war unfold live on television, because it does bring the immediacy of the events to you without any opportunity for sugar-coating them, but it's no fun. The danger is that people might get de-sensitized watching Baghdad get the snot bombed out of it. I was strangely grateful that the ABC News correspondent sounded like he was going to have a nervous breakdown any second. At least it keeps the perspective in place.

This hasn't been a wildly original update, and I'm sorry. I just felt like my humble update page would be lacking if I let the start of a major war go by without mention. Although I'm extremely unhappy that my government feels that we had to resort to these measures, I just hope that it will be over soon and with as few casualties on both sides as possible. And if past experience has taught me anything, it's good to stay informed, but not good to spend all day watching things blow up on TV. Not good for the nerves.