cross-posted at Middle East Journal
Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald thinks that because I was embedded with the U.S. military and al-Fadhily wasn’t that my reporting from Fallujah is less credible. (For the post Greenwald is criticizing, see here.) Specifically he insists that al-Fadhily’s claim that 70 percent of Fallujah is destroyed is more credible than my claim to the contrary.
If the city were 70 percent destroyed it would look much like Dresden did after the fire-bombing. I could not possibly spend a month there without noticing, especially since I moved to a new location inside the city every day. You can believe that I would publish pictures of vast destruction in Fallujah if it existed because that’s exactly what I did when I recently went to Ramadi and Lebanon. I do have a track record of that sort of thing. I have no reason, good or bad, to treat Fallujah any differently.
It would be truly amazing—if not impossible—if I could spend so much time in Fallujah and not notice that 70 percent of it was destroyed.
I recently (sincerely and politely) offered to help Glenn Greenwald get to Iraq safely since he’s a journalist who writes about it so much. So far he hasn’t responded. By his own logic, both al-Fadhily and myself are more credible on the subject than he is. I wouldn’t normally pull rank on a colleague like this, but since Glenn pulled rank over me on al-Fadhily’s behalf, he gets the same in return.
I’ll still help Glenn get to Iraq if he wants so we won’t have to talk to each other like this.