Letters

Readers respond to Salon foreign correspondent Phillip Robertson's coverage of the war in Iraq.


Salon Staff
April 12, 2003 12:51AM (UTC)

[Read "'Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka!'" by Phillip Robertson. Articles by Robertson are indexed here.]

Phillip Robertson's vivid description of the boundless joy and hope expressed by villagers suddenly free of Saddam's rule also filled me with some warmth, joy and hope that Bush's war has (at least for now) produced tangible benefits for some of Iraq's citizenry.

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Had it come from the administration (or its jingoistic mouthpiece Fox News) I would have suspiciously dismissed it as propagandistic justification for an unpopular (on a worldwide basis) American invasion.

Thank you, Salon, for once again justifying my membership with this kind of independent reporting.

-- Don Elsenheimer

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Give this man a bonus. His observations on the experience of war are more compelling than the television coverage. Will Salon publish a book of these? Stay safe, Phillip, and keep your laptop dim.

-- Heidi Reidell

I had to write and express my appreciation for Phillip Robertson's reportage.

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I remember his eyewitness accounts of the fighting in Afghanistan, which provided a view of the front line, with accompanying chaos, that provided an unfiltered account of what war is really like.

Now he has continued this great work from Iraq, starting, I believe, by sneaking across the border in a boat! His almost novelist-like descriptions of the people, places, and humanity of the situation are a breath of fresh air, especially when compared to news from other sources. From him I feel that I get a small glimpse into what it must be like to live through the manic unreality of this war.

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Work like Mr. Robertson's is why I have been a dedicated Salon reader since 1996.

-- Melissa Lunden

Phillip Robertson's writing is top-notch, and he's finding the kinds of stories that justify a subscription to Salon.

He's obviously taking considerable risks and is doing so to uncover the realities of the situation in a way that network journalists and "embedded" reporters can only dream of doing in their wildest imaginations.

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In this, and in other ways, Salon isn't just relevant, it's a vital current of information and an exemplar of what a free press means to a free citizenry. It can't be easy supporting foreign correspondents, but the results are quite clearly worth whatever it takes.

-- Daniel Sosnoski

[Read "'All Kinds of Metal Was Flying Through the Air,'" by Phillip Robertson.]

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"When the sound comes, it's good, and when the bomb hits, I think, Jesus, I hope that did it, I hope that solved our problem [...] The sheet of cluster bombs falls across the road, not far away at all. After that, it is quiet again, and we can leave."

It's time for Phillip Robertson to come home. When he starts to cheer on bombs designed to spray shrapnel at anyone in the vicinity, ripping through their bodies and making them "silent," he's become someone who's either touched (as we say in the South to describe a nutjob) or just plain hideous.

On second thought, maybe he should just stay there. We don't need any more bloodthirsty monsters in this country.

-- Gwenn Carlson

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Please consider sharing Robertson's reports with Fox, as I am sure they will appreciate his cheering.

But first tell him to be careful walking around -- those cluster bombs leave a few nasty unexploded bits, and we don't want to dampen his spirits or his walking ability.

-- James Healy

I have been closely following the reporting of Phillip Robertson at Salon ever since he started covering the war in Afghanistan. In fact, I couldn't get enough of his writing and watched closely every day for another report. When they didn't come often enough, I did a Google search for some background on him that I hoped would lead me to another source for his reporting. No such luck. I was so pleased to see him reporting again here.

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His descriptions of what he experiences make the reader feel like they are experiencing it as well. It is the best first-hand-account writing I have seen anywhere

I hope Salon is paying him well; he deserves it. I hope he survives long enough to write more. I can't even imagine the shit he has gone through, and I really don't want to, but I feel like I can understand it a bit better because of his accounts of what he has been through.

He's the anti-Geraldo. I just hope others appreciate what he's doing.

-- Tom Peckman

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Phillip Robertson's reports are fascinating and full of remarkable observations about the places and people he is encountering.

For me, as a high school social studies teacher, they are invaluable records of unfolding history at a time when we most need the unvarnished truth, rather than the predigested versions of events that are featured in the mainstream media.

Thanks for featuring Mr. Robertson's extraordinary reports.

-- Kay Cottle

Mr. Robertson, you are a shining beacon of individual freedom. I have my fingers crossed for you.

I bow to you, your bravery and your foolhardiness, for you are the kind of person we need in a world controlled by conformists and special interests, and populated by non-thinking, complacent sheep.

-- Kim Tilbury


Salon Staff

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