Egyptian opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi hold up a poster of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on July 26, 2013 during a protest in Cairo. Tens of thousands of anti-Morsi supporters gathered in response to a call by the army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Egyptians to show their support for a security clampdown on “terrorism”. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED
Secretary of State John Kerry went to Egypt last weekend to renew US-Eqypt ties and to offer its new president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, swift restoration of military aid. Unfortunately in less than 24 hours of Egypt’s aid being restored, a judge on Monday convicted three journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language network of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast ‘false reports’. One was sentenced to at least seven years.
Two Associated Press journalists were shot in Khost province, Afghanistan: Kathy Gannon and Anja Niedringhaus on April 4, 2014. Anja Niedringhaus died in the attack. Kathy Gannon was also wounded but survived.
From the editorial in the Los Angeles Daily News (April 9, 2014)
A long time nemesis of the West has died, Vietnamese Gen. No Nguyen Giap. During the siege of Khe Sanh, Ford Jennings, one of the main characters in The Five O’Clock Follies, insisted that the U.S. Marine outpost there was going to fall on the same day in the same that the French had been defeated at Dien Bien Phu 14 years earlier.
The correspondent’s thinking: General Vo Nguyen Giap, the mastermind of the French rout, was thought to be calling the shots in Khe Sanh.
The New York Times staff photographer Tyler Hicks was nearby when gunmen opened fire at an upscale Nairobi mall, killing at least 39 people in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Kenya’s history. He was able to go inside the mall as the attack unfolded. Here’s what he saw: NY Times Lens Blog Sept 21, 2013
We remember the pictures of the last horrifying 1975 flights out of Saigon, but Da Nang? A disgusting picture of South Vietnamese deserting soldiers shoving aside women and children to fight their way aboard a rescue flight. The stampede was so awful that the plane couldn’t close its boarding stairs, and took off with men dangling from its wings, baggage holes and wheel wells. The desperadoes who couldn’t clamber aboard fired shots and damaged the plane as it took off. Of the 268 who finally were in the cabin at takeoff, 5 were women and there were 2 or 3 small children. The rest were thugs trying to save their own skins.
A CBS video report by Bruce Dunning that was voted by Columbia University’s School of Journalism one of the 100 best pieces of reporting by its graduates in this, the school’s centennial year.
It’s interesting to note that with all the concern about Mali as a haven for terrorists, the New York Times doesn’t even seem to have a correspondent there. A page one story on March 18, talking about possible U.S. involvement is datelined Mauritania, which is on Mali’s northwest border. The French made headlines by sending in troops in January to push back Al Qaeda forces from the cities of Gao and Timbuktu. There were stories of grateful citizens thanking the arriving French troops, but beyond that nothing much except puffery about how President Francois Hollande’s poll numbers have shot up. Paris Match reported that Monsieur Flan had become Mr. Big after the lightening fast and unexpected move. There is such a lid on battlefield reports that Reporters Sans Frontieres claims that at one point, 50 journalists were rounded up and flown out of the country. No one else seems to have reported that or confirmed that, but with no one there to report on it, who knows? The French weekly, Le Point says “the French Army has confirmed its nickname of ‘grand mute’ by locking up information on its operations.”
For many the Vietnam War is no more than history. For those of us for whom it is a vivid memory, the 45th anniversary of the Tet Offensive this year is a time to wonder if we’ve learned any lessons from the war.