Kaddafi’s soldiers couldn’t understand why American journalists are siding with pro-al Qaeda and Islamist rebels

The four New York Times journalists who were held captive in Libya for six days, Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks, tell their story in yesterday’s paper. You would think that an account written directly by the people who underwent this experience would go into more detail than the earlier articles, where they were merely quoted. But it’s just the opposite. For one thing, their story greatly downplays the continual sexual assaults inflicted on MacArthur prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario , as covered in the Mail in plain fashion, and in the Times’ own earlier article in subdued and buried fashion. In those previous accounts, according to Addario, “There was a lot of groping. Every man who came in contact with us basically felt every inch of my body short of what was under my clothes.” Writing under her own by-line, Addario merely refers to a couple of incidents of “groping.” Other things, such as the sadistic threats the soldiers subjected them to, are also left out or downplayed.

We find out that the four had snuck into Libya from Egypt without visas. These idiots put themselves in the middle of an African civil war without visas.

The story also contains this admission:

From the pickup, Lynsey saw a body outstretched next to our car, one arm outstretched. We still don’t know whether that was Mohammed [their driver]. We fear it was, though his body has yet to be found.

If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made, for an article that was never worth dying for.

No article is, but we were too blind to admit that.

Then this revealing passage:

In hindsight, the rebels and the army, or militia, didn’t seem separated by all that much. They were really gangs of young men with guns, each convinced of the other’s evil.

The rebels’ story was more familiar: They were fighting nearly 42 years of dictatorship, wielded by a man whom the vast majority in opposition-held Libya deemed insane. To the soldiers around us, they were fighting Al Qaeda or homegrown Islamists, and they couldn’t understand why we, as Americans, didn’t understand their battle.

Well, a lot of people can’t understand that.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 24, 2011 10:19 AM | Send

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