Those Who Seek Truth In War
by Dana Kester-McCabe
Go then to the places where compassion is left behind in favor of violent agendas.
Root out the Truth buried in the rubble of human suffering, rage and chaos.
Go then to the sources of these terrible times and ask the right questions with out fear.
Be a witness to the Truth so you can testify in the court of human understanding.
Go then to all of us who slumber in our comfortable lives and frightened ignorance.
Shake us from complacency and insecurity to our responsibility for each other.
Go then to a place where you may heal your soul wounded by tortuous observations.
Know you are loved and your work is valuable regardless of popularity or profit.
Go then again to where strife meets madness in the hearts of ordinary people.
Begin again the work of learning and teaching us why we kill each other.
During the war in Iraq a number of journalists have died. These brave individuals risk everything to bring us testimony of events around the world; which are not just dangerous, they are deadly. I have heard interviews with journalists who talk about why they do this work. Some are not ashamed to reflect on the adrenalin rush and the addictive nature of their work. Ernest Hemmingway among others have made the war correspondent's job appear to be a romantic adventure.
But their tales of heroic exploits and amazing experiences only get people part way there. Once in the field, no one can witness devastation and extreme cruelty and not be affected. Regardless of the motivation driving journalists, as long as they are unbiased, they are crucial to our understanding of what is being done in our names during war. We have a duty to support a free international press now more than ever.
During the attack on Iraq there have been incidences, which are still under investigation, of what may have been deliberate firing on locations housing international journalists. The people in these places may have been used as "human shields" by the Iragi government. Certainly the coalition bombing of Iraqi media outlets was intended to wreck the regime's military and civilian communication abilities. The truth about these matters will hopefully come out soon. Please hold in the Light, not only the citizens of Iraq, coalition military personnel serving there, and their families, but the loved ones of journalists who lost their lives in the recent hostilities. But especially - please keep praying for those brave people around the world who are willing to put themselves in harm's way to bring us unbiased accounts of world events. One way we can support them is to act on the information they give us. Vote and communicate with your elected officials on matters of concern to you.
- Edward R. Murrow, Journalist
(raised a Quaker in North Carolina Conservative Yearly Meeting)
Casualty numbers from Reuters as of April 16, 2003
International Freedom Of Expression Exchange
Distress Funds: Support for Media Workers in Danger
Committee To Protect Journalists
Nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the global defense of press freedom.
Reporters Sans Frontières - International
Charter for the safety of journalists working in war zones or dangerous areas
Institute For War & Peace Reporting
Strengthening local media through training, information & dialogue
European Center For War, Peace, & The News Media
Non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting journalists and news organizations in their efforts to sustain an informed, democratic citizenry
Dana Kester-McCabe is a freelance graphic artist, writer and designer from Bishopville, Maryland.
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