A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
FREE JAMES FOLEY!!!
Journalist James Foley is currently being detained by the Libyan government. According to the Associated Press, on April 7, 2011, "An American correspondent for GlobalPost and three other journalists were taken prisoner by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. (article)
Jimmy has been working in the middle east now for some time, with stints in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya. Mr. Foley has written for several local newspapers, Stars and Stripes, Global Post and has had video picked up by CBS Nightly News.
The very important video work (click here) he has been doing in Libya on the rebel forces is widely viewed on the Global Post website and forms a necessary part of the debate about Libya. For example, Ghadaffi has repeatedly said that the rebels in his country are part of Al Qaeda while hiring mercenaries from Sudan and Somalia to come and kill in Libya. Foley's videos clearly show the work the average Libyan is doing to free their country of Ghadaffi's rule; Foley's videos show accountants and offshore welders picking up arms and telling the corrupt Libyan government that they are fed up of the terror and instability.
What makes people run towards gun fire? What kind of constitution allows the headlong rush into danger, the rapport with mortality most of us only see on television and in the movies? Independent journalists that cover these hot spots of strife and rebellion often do so without the drivers and handlers and resources that established journalist can rely on, and yet these independent journalists break stories, and since they aren't beholden to newspapers which are beholden to advertisers then the only obligation they truly have is to the story. And regardless of the lede technology you studied, the seminal part of any piece is the story that gets related when the journalist sutures the threads.
War correspondents are fashioned out of necessity and meddle. Some are born just nosy enough, but don't have the acumen for description and analysis that necessarily makes them correspondents. Some have great writing chops, but could not connect with an Italian prostitute, and thus are resource-poor and awkward and hard to trust. Regardless, the squares out there, like myself, believe that whatever composite goes into making a war journalist, one of the ingredients has got to be a blatant disregard for one's own well-being and safety.
However, someone's got to relay the abominations as they happened, someone's got to transcribe the actions of the desperate as they transform into monsters, someone's got to stand up to these motherfuckers because they are wiping out whole brigades of humans, people, citizens in the middle. While it is true that war correspondents speak for those who can't speak, they are also referees, in writing, framing the conversation, reporting what they see like some musty camera, or absentee landlord surveillance system.
However, if you are just un-square enough, you could freely speculate that war correspondents are vital to democracy. What gives me certainty about my last statement is that one of the first things that regimes do when pressed with civic unrest is switch off the internet. This makes it very hard to get a real-time, accurate picture of what is transpiring withing the country. Dictators have an amazing propensity for fiction, and the justifications they spew to corroborate their actions provide quite a mezzanine for future absurdities, which are surely guaranteed to elapse.