"Don't Forget About Iraq"

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
This "Reporter's Notebook" item ran on the news side of CBSNews.com yesterday, but I wanted to make sure Public Eye regulars didn't miss it. Stationed in Baghdad, Correspondent Mark Strassmann reminds us all not to forget about the daily events happening in Iraq with everything else happening in the news. As he put it, "Pay attention to Castro, Israel and Lebanon, and the great American heat wave? Absolutely. Just don't forget about Iraq." More
It's the first day of another month: pay day for Iraqi police and soldiers. In an upscale part of Baghdad, officers file into a bank to collect cash to pay their men. It's not a lot of money for men taking a lot of risk. A car bomb suddenly explodes. At least 14 people are killed. But news of the attack barely registers in many of America's news outlets.

Just yesterday, in broad daylight, a convoy of 11 SUVs pulled into the same part of Baghdad. They should have been a hard group to miss, especially when out poured gunmen wearing military fatigues. They burst into two street-level companies, kidnapping 26 employees and customers. Poof — everyone gone, the hunters and the hunted, in a mass-kidnap that's about as brazen as it gets. And this was the same neighborhood where last week, a rocket barrage followed by a car bomb had killed 31 people. Again, few Americans heard about any of it, because by and large, the news was under-reported.

Why? Partly, it's because there's a growing sense of "Iraq fatigue." To many American looking on, the daily drumbeat of death and despair has a certain sameness. It seems numbing after awhile. And all this has been going on for more than three years now, with no clear end in sight.


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