Anderson (in Waveland,
Mississippi) interviews Peter Bergen (in DC), Aneesh
Raman (in Baghdad) and Michael (in Brisbane) on the
sectarian violence ripping through Iraq following the
bombing of the Golden Mosque in Sumarra. Michael
points out that Zarqawi outlined this exact plan to
disrupt the democratic process in a letter to Osama
bin Laden over a year ago, and that the only group to
benefit from this violence is al-Qaeda.
Michael was one of the
main contributors to this amazing episode of the PBS
series. This is a compilation of clips covering his
portions of the episode.
"The Insurgency" is produced and directed by Tom Roberts, and co-produced by Matt Haan, but a lot of this new report comes courtesy of the contacts and personal video journals of Michael Ware of Time magazine. He and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a photojournalist from Iraq whose access to insurgents is equally impressive, get very close to their subjects.
In one case, too close. There's a frightening piece of footage here, as part of the 2004 battle for internal control of the city of Tal'Afar, in which Ware comes face to face with a terrorist intent on killing him.
Ware is documenting, with his handheld video camera, proof of a Ba'athist claim that the insurgent forces of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi so brazenly controlled the town that their flags adorned its main boulevard. Ware sees one flag, then another, and films them. In the process, he films one of Zarqawi's men, who leaps from the curb, screams for the vehicle to stop, and heads right toward Ware and his camera.
The camera captures, in freeze-frame, the rebel soldier pulling the pin on his grenade, and walking forward with apparent murderous intent. Ware lives to tell the tale - but at the moment that image is frozen, it's hard to imagine how.