No brainer for this week’s GPICT.
I’ve been reading Michael’s dispatches since late 2006. His is basically the LONE voice I give any credence to regarding what is going on in the Iraq and Af/Pak Wars.
BECAUSE HE’S THERE.
Not in the ‘Green Zone’ like most mainstream reporters. Not on a Katie Couric-style staged walk-through. And not for an overnight trip or two-week jaunt that many other figures have used as the basis for forming their opinion on the conflicts.
He embeds with the combat troops. For months at a time.
FACT: NO OTHER REPORTER HAS SPENT AS MUCH TIME WITH COMBAT TROOPS IN THESE TWO WARS.
Again: No. Other. Reporter.
Take that in, and then reflect the next time you see a talking head on television or read an Op-Ed in the paper or on a blog. Ask yourself “Does this person really know?”
If this weren’t enough, know that the material is absolutely riveting.
“I try to let my work speak to that, and the fact that it has been submitted for three separate Pulitzer Prizes, in photography and reporting categories, and it continues to garner awards and acclaim from both mainstream and alternative media organizations is my testament to how I much I value the support of my readers. I show my appreciation by doing the best work I possibly can.”
PLEASE, IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS DISPATCH FROM 2007 ENTITLED “Bless The Beasts And Children” for an intimate and graphic vignette from the early part of the ‘Surge’ —- what turned out to be the defining turning point in the War in Iraq. (Warning: It’s graphic, but of all his work, I feel it gives the most blunt look at the evil we and the Iraqis faced and overcame. It truly lets you know the type of menace we were dealing with).
“Where did they go?”
“Soldiers from 5th IA said al Qaeda had cut the heads off the children. Had al Qaeda murdered the children in front of their parents? Maybe it had been the other way around: maybe they had murdered the parents in front of the children. Maybe they had forced the father to dig the graves of his children.”
If THAT weren’t enough, know that Michael is fully independent [read: no “network” or “editorial board” bias]. That said, he tells it like it is. He sugarcoats nothing. Calls a spade a spade. When we’re winning, and when we’re losing. When we fuck up, and when it’s clear that the strength of our values will prevail.
How does he maintain his independence? THROUGH READER SUPPORT. Michael is ENTIRELY FUNDED by individual readers of his online magazine, michaelyon-online.com
Please help support this tremendously important work.
Donation link here.
Order his last book ”Moment of Truth in Iraq” here.
Order one of many incredible combat photos here.
Linking Policy & Media Inquiries here. (If you are a blogger or member of the press, please help spread the word. Despite his proximity and honest reporting, Michael’s work has not gotten nearly the coverage it should be, as far as I am concerned).
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About Michael Yon
Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, native of Winter Haven, Fl. who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.
Michael had previously written a critically acclaimed memoir, Danger Close. He was authoring another book when two of his friends died on consecutive days in Iraq (one of them being Winter Haven native Scott Helvenston). Following accounts in the American press, Michael became concerned that we were losing the war. At the same time, friends in the military said that the media was not telling the whole story. Not wanting to take sides in the increasingly acrimonious argument over the war, Michael simply wanted to learn the truth for himself, and to report without fear or favor. He decided to go to Iraq, financing his trip from his own pocket for more than half a year, then eventually receiving generous contributions from readers of his online magazine: MichaelYon-Online.com. As early as February 2005, Michael described the violence in Iraq as a civil war. In 2006, he said we were losing in Afghanistan. In 2007, he was the first reporter to claim the success of “the Surge.” When he first voiced these opinions, they were extremely controversial. Now they are conventional wisdom.
In 2008 Michael published his second book, Moment of Truth in Iraq, which is packed with exciting and heart-rending tales from the battlefields.
Even as main stream media is quietly pulling their reporters from Iraq in the wake of a weakened economy, Michael is preparing to return to Afghanistan in 2009, and from his observations and insight, Afghanistan is going to be much worse than anything we saw in Iraq and the conflict there could continue for decades.
Reporting from a war zone is very rough on equipment, Michael is constantly having to have his equipment repaired and replaced. Without the continued support and contributions of readers it will be impossible for him to continue his mission in Afghanistan and reporting on the victory in Iraq.
Thank you, in advance.