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[casi-analysis] [Journalists] from Tom Young

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[Following mail originally posted by Tom Young, edited by CASI moderator.]

Regarding my views on Robert Fisk

'I attach from Tom Young's Baghdad experience the relevant paras. I have
telephoned the Foreign Editor of the Independent, who states that Robert
Fisk drove in from Jordan, which as I had understood his (Fisk's) take. He
even talked of the same old bribes on the border, which Iraq travellers
were?are familiar with. I gather the American's at the border are also
profitting - allegedly )'

Firstly as regards to my claims about Robert Fisk and Baghdad airport they
are derived from this article "Feb 22, 2004:
(The New Nation) Running the gauntlet of small arms fire and
rocket-propelled grenades after check-in at Baghdad airportBaghdad, Iraq
--I was in the police station in the town of Fallujah when I realised the
extent of the schizophrenia" In fairness I think the website made a mistake
and the article refers to late last year.

Secondly, my experience with the Iraqi border crossing with 5 other
backpackers and 20 other Iraqis was that there was not even the hint of
wanting a bribe. All officials were friendly and welcoming. The US soldiers
arent a big presence, although one came aboard to check the bus and said
"welcome to the fun".

Having talked to numerous low ranked British soldiers I can say they all
very much believe they are here to make Iraq a better place and simply cant
understand why they are meet with such hostility. I am sure the same is
true of American GIs too. I dont 100% agree with their views but I
certainly understand why they have them and appreciate their sincerity. So
I treat all stories of coalition brutality, corruption, thieving and those
who disseminate them with absolute scepticism.

On the other hand, I do believe that high levels of coalition authority are
capable of doing deliberately provocative acts to enflame situations and
this is what I think has sparked the rising tensions here.

As to Robert Fisk, I would also refer to his story on the burial of Uday
and Qusay Hussein with its lurid details of graves of young teenagers
killed in bombing raids and giant mausoleums of Saddam's mother and compare
that to the picture gallery of the burial site published at the BBC and

360 degree views can be found. None of these features are visible, indeed
nothing looking remotely like a cemetary.

Oh and suddenly and without explanation I was released early this
afternoon. Shows what posting on casi can do.

Tom Young
At liberty in a very edgy Basra.

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