Embedded Blogger

Nicht nur Journalisten sind im Irak als eingebettete Berichterstatter aktiv. Der Blogger Bill Roggio ist vor wenigen Tagen auf eigene Initiative in die Krisenregion aufgebrochen und mittlerweile in Fallujah angekommen. Dort begleitet er derzeit Soldaten der Marine-Einheit ‚Gators,‘ die zum 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion gehört, bei ihren täglichen Einsätzen.

We patrolled the entire length of the Gator’s section of the road, beginning in an area north of Habbaniyah almost all the way to Abu Ghraib. The section stopped a car of four Iraqi males and searched it, and found nothing (they appeared to be students based on the textbooks.) We also ran across an ambulance on the side of the road, with its windows blown out and tires shot.

Roggio ist über Dubai und Kuwait in den Irak gereist.

The trip – from my front door to Fallujah – took 3 ½ days, accounting for the 8 hour time shift between the East Coast and Iraq. This is remarkable considering Iraq is a war zone. I spent all of 35 minutes in the Green Zone getting my ID badge and another two hours waiting for a flight to Fallujah. Most of the time was spent waiting at military airbases, trying to catch that next flight out on a plane or helicopter.

Kuwait ist eine der beiden möglichen Routen in den Irak, die ein PDF für Journalisten auf der Website Operation Iraqi Freedom beschreibt.

You are responsible for your own transportation to either Kuwait or Baghdad. Transportation from Kuwait or Baghdad to the area of your embed is coordinated by the military.

Das PDF listet außerdem Vorbedingungen auf, die man erfüllen muss, wenn man eingebettet in einer US-Einheit aus dem Irak berichten will …

No matter what unit you embed with, you will need body armor and a helmet, ballistic eye protection, sturdy closed toed shoes and long sleeves to travel on any military mode of transport. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE IT, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL OR EMBED with the military.

… und gibt Tipps, wie man sich gegen die Hitze schützt:

Drink adequate fluids in small quantities (5 to 7 ounces) every 15 to 20 minutes. Thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration. Alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, and sports drinks aren’t good substitutes for water. Do not use salt tablets. Drink water even when you’re not thirsty.

Roggio hat für seine Reise eine eigene Firma gegründet und als Presseunternehmen eingetragen:

I was able to secure the embed without going through an outside media organization, as I had to do in the past. I established a non-profit, called Public Multimedia, Inc., incorporated as a media company, and was able to obtain my own credentials. This is a great start to allow me to embed in the future, as well as potentially sponsor others who are interested in embedding. This also should put to rest any claims the military is censoring or unwilling to work with bloggers.

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