2007 in review

2007 was a year of incredible reporting from Michael, his first full year with CNN. There are 225 posts in the 'Iraq 2007' section, another 52 from the RWC in October. I compiled 313 total video clips this year.

Here is a list of some highlights... and it's a long list!


Holiday time

With Michael out of Iraq for his holiday break, it will be quiet for the next couple of weeks. I have some old material (radio interviews, mostly) that I will try to convert and post while he's away. As it happens, I am off work for a couple weeks following a minor but painful injury, so depending on how well the pain meds work, hope to get some additional work done on the site.

In the meantime, wherever you are and however you celebrate, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a joyous 2008. (And if anybody has the opportunity, please buy Michael a drink for me!) Cheers!

Once more with the Monocle photo

Sharon finally tracked down a print copy of the magazine, and the online photo was cropped. So here is the full version. (The washed-out color is due to the article being printed on recycled paper. Good for the environment, not so great for photographs.)


New look

As you can see, I've made a few changes to the site. Some are just cosmetic, others are in hopes of making site navigation easier. There are still a few additions to be made, but I wanted to unveil this today since it is the two-year anniversary of the first time I heard Michael on TV.

To say that this site had very humble beginnings is an understatement -- at first I was just sharing his clips with friends, because his reports were so unlike what we were hearing from the rest of the media. Within a couple months I put up a very small site to hold all of the ones I had been able to copy, and then he started making more and more appearances on CNN, and my collection got bigger. Eventually I had to move to a larger host company, and then he signed with CNN, and there are some days when I can barely keep up with him!

Along the way I bought a TiVo, several software upgrades, a second TiVo, even more webspace... I've heard from people all around the world who consider his reports a vital resource in understanding what happened (and is still happening) in Iraq and thanking me for making his work readily available. More importantly, the rest of the media, and the world, has caught up with him and now understands what he was saying two long years ago.

One thing that hasn't changed: the honesty and courage that was so absolutely stunning to me that first night remains so today. We are extremely fortunate that a man like Michael Ware cares so very much about learning the truth and passing it on to us.

Monocle: My last meal

Many thanks to Maxie (a Monocle subscriber) for sending along the full interview...


A new photo from Paris; another TWAW appearance

Another magazine interview done in Paris is coming out next week, and here is the photo that will run in it: Michael at the "Asian" Thai restaurant, looks to have been taken October 13th:


Also, this week's blurb for This Week at War:

The Battle for Iraq: Violence is down but can the downward trend be sustained?
Michael Gordon, The New York Times; Author, "Cobra II" (DC)
Michael Ware, CNN International Correspondent (Baghdad)

New interview

A terrific interview with Michael was posted today on the website of Asharq Alawsat newspaper.
The interview was conducted while he was in Paris last month.

Q & A with CNN's Michael Ware

By Enaam Kajjah Ji in Paris

Q: How did the idea of going to Iraq emerge?

A: I went to Kurdistan at the beginning of 2003 before the military attack [on Iraq]. I got to Baghdad after the fall of Tikrit in April 2003. I’ve been there for four and a half years.


MEI transcripts

I have now added transcripts for the audio clips from the MEI conference. They are in the Audio section, and the four transcripts are available either on the main page or when you click through to each audio clip.

(I did these myself, so the good stuff all belongs to Michael, any errors are mine, etc. I used to do this for a living, so hopefully there aren't too many errors...)

MEI photograph

A photograph from yesterday's MEI has been added to Michael's Wikipedia page. The photographer is listed by the name Aude, and it is an absolutely stunning photo...


(Also available in 655px and 1093px versions.)

MEI panel audio clips

The audio from Michael's panel at the Middle East Institute conference from yesterday was posted last night. I have excerpted Michael's portions: an opening 20-minute address (which is right up there with Hidden Wars as an amazing encapsulation of events) and then three answers to questions.

Clip 1, 19:29
"I'm nothing more than a witness."

Clip 2, 1:53
"It ain't gonna be Rwanda, but it's gonna be Bosnia."

Clip 3, 1:56
"This is America
turning on the government it created."

Clip 4, 3:13
"Under the guidelines of every insurgent or militia group...
journalists fit fairly and squarely as legitimate targets."

More old videos, this time from CBS

Sharon has dug up more gems from the vault -- two clips that aired on CBS Evening News. In the first, Lara Logan interviews Michael about the "bullets and ballots" strategy employed by the insurgents for the election in December of 2005; the second is a prepared piece about the on-going "is it a civil war or not" debate in March of 2006. (And both make me very glad that CNN just lets Michael be Michael rather than turning him into another Reporter 101 clone!)

Also, Sharon mentioned that David Bellavia will be featured on CSPAN-2's BookTV this Sunday, 10pm ET. Check your local listings, etc.

Farewell to France

Well, the 2007 Rugby World Cup is over, with the South African Springboks having been crowned champions. It has been an incredible tournament, and an incredible joy to watch Michael having so much fun. While covering sports is certainly not his forte and it will be wonderful to have him back to doing what he does best, these past three weeks have shown us a side that we usually never get to see on television, so I have to send out a big cyber thank-you out to The Powers That Be at CNN for sending him on this assignment, even though the Wallabies lost and he was freezing his... well, he was really cold on Friday!

I don't know whether we will see him at all for the next couple of weeks. He has that MEI conference at the end of the month, so hopefully between now and then he will get to do some actual off-the-clock relaxing before heading back to his rooftop "office." (But no worries, the TiVos are still running, just in case! Poor little things never get a vacation!)

Live via satellite...

CNN held a big event for advertisers in NYC today, focused around its planned coverage of the presidential election. There were panel discussions and much promotion of all their new technological innovations, etc. One of the photos from the event, posted at mediabistro.com:

CNN's Michael Ware talking about the impact
of the Iraq war on the Presidential election.

More rugby, another photo

More of the rugby coverage is available now.

Also, here is another official photo from CNN:

MW Promo 1 of 2


Michael is currently in France, where he will be covering the Rugby World Cup for CNN/International for the next three weeks. I have some low-tech screengrabs -- also known as having someone snap photos from a TV screen -- to show off what fun he's having. Many thanks to Mavis for these!


AC360 on Monday...

Liz tipped me off that there was a commercial on CNN this morning about Michael:

Large version -- Small version

New/old interview

And another stellar find by Sharon! A report done for Chris Matthews during "Operation Swarmer" in March of last year. I absolutely adore this photo -- I've never seen him wearing a keffiyeh before...


Another delay for the book

Last night I received a heads-up from regular contributor Sharon that the publication of Michael's book has now been pushed an additional year, to September 2009. I just received confirmation of that date from the Australian publisher.

A new blog, Arianna, Jack & Buster

I've finally added an off-site blog, so that from now on if news breaks while I'm at work, I can at least post something. (Of course, it will also give you guys a chance to put up comments and get to know one another, if you wish. There are some really great people who are regulars on the site.) The link is in the sidebar.

Also, on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," Arianna Huffington had some nice things to say about Michael, and during the third hour of TheSitRoom on Monday, Jack and one of his e-mailers did, as well. Just thought I'd share them...



I've had several very sweet e-mails from people wanting to help with the dead DVD drive problem, which just blew me away. So my friends have talked me into setting up a link on the Site Info page to make it possible to donate to the site via PayPal.

Thanks to all of you who wrote and commiserated, too... Definitely makes the all-nighters worth while!

Slow but still steady...

I apologize that the clips are getting up more slowly these days -- the DVD drive on my poor old PowerBook died last week and quite honestly I don't have the money to replace it. I have come up with another way to get the clips converted and posted, but it is adding a couple more hours onto the whole process. But I promise I will keep them coming!

Yuri Kozyrev's Fallujah photos

* * * * *

View the photographs taken by Yuri Kozyrev
during the battle of Fallujah

* * * * *

These photos are copyright Time magazine and Yuri Kozyrev. I have archived them here simply for easier access.

Thanks to Sharon for sending the link.

My thoughts on "House to House"


House to House: An Epic Memoir of War
by SSG David Bellavia with John R. Bruning

I have read a lot of books about the Iraq war. Literally an entire bookshelf worth. Many of them are Very Important Books, the kind that will make their way into course curriculums of the future, that are cited as reference material for other books, that hit the NYTimes best-seller list.

But I have never pressed my friends to read them, never choked up trying to explain why a particular book was so important, never said that they would never forget this book.

Not until House to House.


David Bellavia interviewed on TSR

Today on The Situation Room, Wolf interviewed David Bellavia about his new book, the current state of al-Anbar province, and Michael.


SSG David Bellavia's new book: "House to House: An Epic Memoir of War"

If you've read Michael's article about the 2nd Battle of Fallujah in November of 2004, you will remember SSG David Bellavia as the crazy/brave leader of the Army squad with whom he was embedded. Bellavia has just released a book about that battle, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, and will be doing some media appearances this week to promote it, including The Situation Room on Monday and Glenn Beck's show on Tuesday.

For more information about the book, check out the
publisher's website.
For information on appearances, check out

I picked up my copy of the book today and it is incredible. If the standard for war memoirs is "gritty," then reading this is like being sandblasted... Yes, there is stuff in there about Michael, and I will write up some of that in the next couple of days, but you can't read this book without being deeply, deeply moved by what these guys went through.

More to come once I've finished reading it...

New addition

Yesterday I received a terrific suggestion for the site, one I am sorry I didn't think of myself -- since not everyone has a fast internet connection, I am going to start offering a smaller version of the video clips. So for anything posted as of today the photos will no longer link directly to the video clips. Instead, there will be options on the main page (where the transcripts are) for either a Large or Small version of the clip. The Large will be the one I am currently posting (iPod standard). The Small one will be about one-tenth of the file size, with a very small screen, but should allow for a much faster download and provide easier access to anyone with a slow connection.

I will go back and re-convert older clips as I have time -- my poor little PowerBook will be working overtime for quite a while to tackle this project, but I think it will be a worthwhile addition to the site. (Thanks again, Sean!)

More old audio clips

Sharon dug up two more audio interviews, these from Air America radio network. The first is from January 2006, when Michael was in NYC and was interviewed on "The Mark Riley Show." The second is from November 2005, when he was interviewed by phone for "The Randi Rhodes Show." Thanks again, Sharon!

"No End in Sight"

This is another entry that has nothing to do with Michael... but I have been hearing/reading so many impressive reviews about this new documentary "No End in Sight," which chronicles the ways in which we screwed up the invasion/occupation, that I thought I would post the trailer. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this... no matter how much it will hurt.


Another HuffPo rave-up

The Huffington Post has another article about Michael.
(Although what they call "prescience" I would term "lots of smarts and a willingness
to be honest about the situation" ... but I guess that's too long for a headline.)

The Scary Prescience of Michael Ware
Huffington Post   |  Rachel Sklar   |   August 16, 2007 02:23 PM

CNN's Michael Ware, formerly Time's Baghdad correspondent, rarely has good news. Not really surprising, since he's one of the few — very few — journalists who has been in Baghdad since before the U.S. invasion. His reports are often bluntly pessimistic and contradictory of the official version, and all too often, right.


Some additional footage?

Since I added this morning's clip to the Video area I have also added a short clip that aired during the second hour of American Morning. It was about the current offensive in Diyala province, but I believe some of the footage may have come from Michael's camera. I can't be sure, of course, but that seemingly telltale from-the-ground-up angle makes me think so...so I uploaded it.

Another old Aussie interview

Sharon strikes again! She found a terrific interview that Michael did for ABC Radio in Australia back in December of 2004, regarding the future of journalism. He discusses his own methods and what he has to do to get to the truth in the midst of a war zone. Both the audio clip and print transcript can be found here.

New audio clip

Sharon sent me a link to a radio interview that Michael did last week when the Iraqi soccer team won the semi-final game.

Aussie TV interview

Suzanne let me know that Michael was on an Australian TV show last night and sent the link for the show's website. I was able to get video and transcript off the site, so you can check out the interview here.

New bio

I was invited to write up a bio of Michael for the excellent "All Things Anderson" blog, and it was posted today. You can check out the original posting on ATA here and it is now available here on this site, as well.

Old NBC clip

Sharon dug up another great old clip... this time a video clip from NBC, from the Battle of Fallujah in early November 2004. The clip is the same size as the source material.

A couple old audio clips

Sharon has sent a couple NPR clips she dug up -- one is from three years ago today, July 12, 2004, and features Michael discussing the huge upgrade in quality of insurgent propaganda films once Zarqawi started doing them. (Fascinating point -- "They have combat camera units and they have been pre-positioned to document these operations for months and we didn't know.")

The second clip was recorded December 15, 2005, the day after
election day, in which he describes the large turnouts in different neighborhoods.

Official photo

CNN has finally posted an official photo of Michael, and it's a beauty:


To read the official bio, check out his page on CNN.

FRONTLINE: The Insurgency

I've done a new edit of the Frontline episode that Michael was in last year. It takes advantage of the new QT standards. (Translation: it's a whole lot bigger and sharper!)

TIME articles

I have completed uploading all of Michael's bylined TIME articles into the Print section. There are about 75 new entries, going all the way back to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 (although most are from Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Lara Logan

Another item that has nothing to do with Michael, but Lara Logan was on Reliable Sources this morning talking about the story she did for CBS regarding the children found in terrible conditions in an orphanage in Baghdad. Her description of tracking the story was extremely interesting and gives a fascinating glimpse of the incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the reports we see on the air.

The clip is available

Vacation's over!

Multichannel News (published by Variety) reports that Michael will be part of CNN's World Refugee Day reporting tomorrow:


New audio

Thanks to a heads-up from Sharon in San Francisco, I have added two short audio podcast interviews with Michael and his producer, Thomas Evans.

UPDATE: Some people were having problems with the files, so I have converted them. If you were unable to play them before, you should be able to now.

CNN Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of the announcement of Michael joining CNN. It has certainly been an extraordinary twelve months of reportage from Beirut and Baghdad. As an indication, the number of video pages on this site "pre-CNN" is 20; since he signed there have been 337.

I think that calls for a drink! Somebody buy that man a beer and put it on my tab!

New interview online

Big thanks to Suzanne, one of the site's Aussie friends, for sending this link to a television interview Michael did in Brisbane last week.


More old articles

Some more of Michael's articles from The Courier-Mail. No more "personal" info, just some examples of his writing. These are the longest articles available in the archives.


Some old gems...

All right, I know everyone is bored while Michael is away, so I'm posting some old articles for your enjoyment...


Stunning photo


This was shown during Michael Holmes' "Month of Mayhem" SIU special.

HufPo raves up Michael

Arianna Huffington posted a blog entry about Michael's interview on AC360 Tuesday night, when he and David Gergen discussed the latest call for benchmarks.

Thank goodness for Michael Ware, CNN's Baghdad-based war correspondent. Amid the hot air, his reporting is like a bracing splash of ice cold water to the face. A jolt of from-the-belly-of-the-beast reality. A wake-up call delivered via jackhammer. With an Australian accent.


Book delayed

I was tipped off by Dannie (a regular visitor from Canada) that the Australian publication date for Michael's book has been pushed to April '08. She got the info from a book supplier; I will try to contact the publisher on Monday to get a confirmation.

UPDATE: According to information the publisher provided me with, the release date is now August of '08.


April Fool?

I have no idea whether what Drudge posted was just a bad joke or what, but as it happens, I recorded nearly the whole press conference.


Steven Colbert on "Ware vs. McCain"

Steven Colbert discusses McCain, Michael, and the location of Neverland, as only he can. (And unlike McCain, he also specifies which areas in Baghdad are safe for those casual strolls...)


Sullivan mention

When I saw Andrew Sullivan talking with AC last night, my first thought was, I wish I could be a fly on the wall for the off-camera conversation between Sullivan and Mick.


Foreign Correspondent by Michael Ware

Yes, he's writing a book! It won't be out until the end of the year and there's no word yet as to an American publisher, but at least it's coming! Here's the write-up from The Australian:


Absurdistan by Eric Campbell

Eric Campbell is an Australian journalist who has spent years in some of the craziest war zones on the planet. Absurdistan is the memoir of his work.

On March 18, 2003, Campbell arrived in Kurdistan to cover the opening days of the Iraq war for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). At the border, he met Paul Moran, sent to be his cameraman. Two American journalists were also at the border: