Iraq's Voices Of Independence

Only in Iraq could a television show called "Common Ground" be a potential death wish.

Four young people just talk about getting along. Most striking of all: Two of the hosts are Sunni Muslims, two are Shias. They reject extremists and insurgents - and have the guts to say it on television.

"The goals of the insurgents are bad. Our message represents hope to Iraqis," says Samir, who co-founded the station, the one true independent channel in all of Iraq, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

A year ago, 55 people worked at this station. Now, only four people really keep it going. Insurgents threatened or intimidated the rest into quitting by murdering a dozen people who once worked here.

They broadcast off the tallest tower in Iraq, originally built by Saddam.

In Diyala Province, north of Baghdad, it's desolate and dangerous. So like her co-workers, Doria Abdul Latif can never leave the office. She has to live here - she's too recognizable now to risk going home.

"For sure, they're going to kill me," she said through a translator.

Farfed Mahmoud is lucky. Earlier this year, insurgents took his house, not his life. "Why did they take your house?" asks Strassmann.

"Because I am a Shia," he says.

An outpost of American soldiers protects the station and its employees

"They are absolute patriots," says Col. David Sutherland. "They are so brave, it is amazing."

They are also under constant stress.

"I'm wanted, because the bad guys will kill me," Samir said.

Someone, they say, has to tell the insurgents: enough.

  • CBSNews

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