Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Iraqi death WILL be marked

Yasser Salihee, father of Danya

In light of yesterday's New York Times report that U.S. TV network newscasts have devoted all of 181 minutes to coverage of Iraq this year, it seems right to share this determined tribute and promise from one of the Iraqi journalists who writes for McClatchy in Baghdad.

Three years ago an American soldier shot and killed our late colleague Yasser Salihee, a physician and a father of one lovely girl, on Friday June 24, 2005. ...

Your friends and colleagues never forgot you and will not.

Every week we survive death. Every week we lose another friend or a relative.

Every one in this country lost a dear friend or a brother or a father or a mother or maybe all the family.

I've been in so many places Yasser, I saw many die. I saw children, women and men were killed by terrorists or troops and we will keep trying to tell their stories.

If we die my friend we will be dying telling the truth, telling the people what really happens here.

Your death gave us the will to continue telling the world that people here die for no guilt but trying to go home or to work.


In 2007, Mike Drummond of the Charlotte Observer described what he learned about Salihee's death.

Salihee, [was] a medical doctor in addition to working as a translator and the bureau's special correspondent.... [he was] shot in the brain by an American sniper, although details remain sketchy.

A staffer here tells me he was driving toward a checkpoint, down a street marked as a no-go zone. The "marker" was a brick placed in the middle of the road. A piece of debris.

He adds that this danger, the poorly marked checkpoint, is not uncommon.

Sahar Issa, [another McClatchy journalist], says she nearly met Salihee's fate. She and her son took a turn down a street "marked" as a no-go zone. Iraqi forces opened fire on her car. She failed to see the marker -- a milk carton placed at the corner.

There's no news in these stories worth sharing with a U.S. audience according to commercial news priorities. Have to get back to the important stories -- Heather Locklear's depression, Britney Spears' custody dispute and other vital matters.

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