Off to Iraq

Discussion in 'Community' started by kiwi_the_iwik, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hey guys...

    It looks as I'm yet ANOTHER of the MR team to go off to the fine shores of Iraq...

    My boss called me up the other day, and asked me to work the Bureau in Baghdad - and after a bit of thought, I agreed.

    So - I'm off on the 6th of January, for no less than a month - but maybe up to 3...

    I sort of consider it to be like going to the beach - but with no water. Sad, really - I can't STAND sand! Oh, well...

    One GOOD thing is that I have a satellite internet connection at the bureau - so I'll post updates as to things I've seen/done whenever I get the chance (AND, they'll be the FIRST MR POSTS from inside Iraq!!!).

    The worst thing is to leave my little boy - he's 3 1/2, and my best pal. Trying to explain that Daddy's going away for a little while was really difficult for me - especially when he told me "Don't go, Daddy...".

    Awww.

    But, after I explained to him that we'd be able to afford some new toys for him to play with, he didn't have to think twice. "Bye-bye, then!"

    Anyway - It'd be nice to hear from you folks whilst I'm out there. Don't be strangers! Go on - POST! I'll reply as often as I can...

    :cool:
     
  2. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #2
    I wish you the best of luck ... just keep your head down to avoid "friendly fire"

    and we look forward to getting your posts from iraq
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
  4. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    #4
    I hope your safe in Iraq and I hope you good luck
     
  5. pivo6 macrumors 68000

    pivo6

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    Good Luck and Stay Safe. I hope you can keep in touch with your family while you're gone.
     
  6. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #6
    good luck man...

    u should do something sweet for your son...like give him something to hold onto while u are away...it'll help him out...

    and looking forward to your Iraq posts... ;)
     
  7. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #7
    I wish you safety on your trip kiwi_the_iwik. Our prayers are with you my friend. Are you going to be filming an investigative story for your station? It sounds like it will be an exciting and educational experince. Also will look forward to you posts from Iraq.
     
  8. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    It's really news stuff - there's so much happening over there, that it has to be covered.

    We fly in to Amman in Jordan, and drive by military convoy across the border straight into Baghdad, as flying there direct is still hazardous (there are many rebels who still take pot-shots at aircraft with surface-to-air missiles around the Airport).

    It'll be me and David Chater - he's classic. He's the bloke who stayed in Baghdad throughout the whole campaign, and in the end, was down in the heart of the city when the US troops arrived - Sky News were the ONLY network who took the arrival LIVE, as the other networks just sat and scratched themselves - David walked amongst the troops, interviewing them as they sat on their tanks...

    Anyway - at least he knows the lay of the land.

    The office called me yesterday morning and wanted me to go to Iran first - and cover the earthquake where 20 000 may have lost their lives. To be perfectly honest, I think the Iraq trip for now is long enough, so I had to decline - I was completely unprepared to say goodbye to my little boy, and I wanted to be here for a little while longer - just to soak all of his companionship up...

    First purchase to make before I go away - an iPod!

    (Now, at least, I have an excuse to get one!)

    :cool:
     
  9. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #9
    I would say that you deserve to treat yourself to an iPod. ;)

    It sounds a though you have done you best to make yourself safe. Having someone that is familar with Iraq should be very helpful.

    I'm sure that the worst will be leaving your wife and son.
     
  10. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    The Wife? Not an issue - we're separated, and she's got a boyfriend.

    My Son? well - it's close to the hardest thing that I've ever done in my life. But, he'll be just fine.

    Anyway - it's about time that my wife looked after him for more than a few hours a day - I've had to take care of him for the past year after she left...

    Let's see how SHE copes for a change!

    :p
     
  11. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #11
    I'm sorry to hear about your separtion from the wife. Don't think I could get along without mine.

    Now I can understand why you and your son are going to miss each other. You must be an exceptional father to have maintained custody of your son, congratulations.

    I pray that your wife will be up to the task. In your opinion is she a good mother?
     
  12. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    at the edge
    #12
    Just don't stay at that main hotel ("The Palestine"?). It seems to be the most popular target for hostile acts.
     
  13. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    wdlove: Yeah - she's a great mum. I actually have absolutely NO worries with how she'll handle things - I just felt like taking a "dig" at her...

    The fact is that we've just agreed to a 50/50 arrangement so that we BOTH can take care of him - and then THIS leaps up. Oh, well - I really need the money!

    Awimoway: Sky crews used to stay at the Palestine - but now pretty much everyone stays at the Sheraton (Hmm - I wonder if they take "Air Miles"?).

    I hear at least it's got a pool...

    :cool:
     
  14. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #14
    Good luck and take care about yourself !

    Looking forward to your posts from irak !
     
  15. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Well - here's the latest...

    ...the trip's been postponed for a time.

    (whew!)

    I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive about going - and my little 3-year old, Oscar, kept asking me to stay (it was really bringing tears to my eyes...).

    The fact is, a cameraman who I was to replace out there called me up from the Baghdad bureau a week ago, just to give me an idea on how things were, and what to expect. He was calling from the Sheraton:

    (to the sound of applause...)
    Me: "Who's clapping their hands? Are you watching a concert?"
    Him: "No - we [the hotel] are being shot at again..."
    Me: "Oh..."

    At least ONE positive out of this is that I can now go out and get one of those new iPods, to be ready for the time when we DO move back in.

    It's not a question of "if", but "when", so I'll have to try and really mentally prepare myself.

    I don't mean to sound like it would have been brilliant to go, but there were AND ARE a multitude of reasons for me to work there. The problems of trying to deal with the breakdown of my marriage - and the consequent estangement of my wife - were a major contributing factor, as was the amount of overtime I was due to collect (which could have/will put me in a much better financial position) - but there was also so much more to it than that...

    ...It occurs to me that in my line of work, I have a great deal of responsibility to get the best message I can across to the viewing audience. It's a real joy to be able to put my "mark" on a story - to have the privilege to film something from MY perspective, and therefore to give MY impression of things - although not to the point of embellishing (or "hyping-up") the subject matter. That's just plain unethical.

    It really makes me feel good to think that my footage can, in some way, make people stop and think about things a bit longer than they would normally do.

    And that is a great honour for me - the true reason why I do what I do...

    :)

    P.S. - I'll keep you all informed as to when I'm going out there...
     
  16. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #16
    While it's no doubt refreshing for u to have it postponed (maybe with the possibility of cancelation), it's still unnerving to know what's going on over there.

    Still, good luck & enjoy your time with that 3 year old. ;)
     
  17. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #17
    Thank you for the update kiwi_the_iwik. All things work out for the best. At least now you get to spend time with Oscar. You will also ge to enjoy the Stevent with us!
    ;)
     
  18. baldeagle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    #18
    off to iraq

    Are you going to be working for Sky then Kiwi ? Chater's still in a suit and tie at Sky so I guess you've both been grounded for a while. It should be great working with him - or are you just travelling with him - as he's the one and only, the best. Doesn't look too cheerful right now and I'm not sure Baghdad/Iraq will be too good for either of you (you might just live up to your signature!) but I wish you all the very best and try to stay safe. And keep all of us posted. I hear it's getting harder and harder to even get a drink out there now, with off licences getting bombed by extremists, so work out (in the finest traditions of journalism) how to smuggle in some of the good stuff. Take care and tell that brilliant and crazy Chater to as well. Any idea on when you'll be going as if it isn't safe now, it's just going to get worse surely before the so called 'handover of power to Iraqis' in June. But maybe 3 months is too long mate; try one instead! All the best and godspeed.

    All power to you to bring us the truth or as close to it as you can get, especially about what life is like for ordinary people over there coping with living in a country that looks like it's going to be a warzone for some time. If you can do that, then all your difficulties and hard work, fear and exhaustion will have been worth it. One question: if you can't work freely for security reasons, do you still think there's a point in going and risking your neck for the story? Are the news channels really that interested in Iraq any more as they all seem to be downscaling their coverage.
     
  19. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #19
    when you do go, i wish you luck. my grandfather was a journalist during the 2nd world war and had to do a lot of running from the bad guys (the japanese), i hope that you dont have too much running to do, remember KEVLAR!!! hehe
     
  20. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
  21. baldeagle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    #21
    off to iraq discussion

    Kiwi_the_Iwik - why did your trip with Sky News get postponed as you didn't say?

    Monday 26th: Chater's in Jeddah, covering the haj for Sky. What's happened to your trip or is it after that and you're still going in with him from Amman? Let us know your news.
     
  22. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
    Sorry for the outrageous delay in the replies, folks!

    Well, as you can see, I'm STILL in "Ol' Blighty". They DID, however, manage to send me away to Mexico and Guatemala for a few weeks to cover the UNICEF setup there - expect the reports to be shown (4 in all) soon on Sky News...

    As for Mr. Chater and myself - well, yes - we're still waiting to go. However, because our sister network Fox News is stationed there, it seems highly improbable that we'll get to go in the forseeable future. Unless, of course, the Police Action turns into something much nastier. But - I do expect to be out there for Saddam's trial in the middle of the year.

    Don't worry - I'll "bitch-slap" him for you all, and give him the message that it was from all at MR...

    Sorry to misinform you all - you'd think by now I'd have learned never to count my chickens! However, watch this space...

    :)
     
  23. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #23
    No problem kiwi_the_iwik. It sounds as though you have been busy. You have still got to do some overseas asignments.

    It seems that the trial of Saddam would be the real historic news to cover. Our own MacRumors member on the case.
     
  24. baldeagle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    #24
    off to iraq: saddam's trial

    News today is that Saddam's trial won't be for at least two years. How does this affect your plans for going into Iraq? Any news yet?
     
  25. baldeagle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    #25
    Hey Kiwi, have you gone to Iraq? I heard on Sky News tonight that David Chater is on his way to Baghdad tomorrow. Think he is in Jordan tonight. Are you with him? Please try to stay safe and let us know how you guys are coping and what you see when you get there. All the best. And if you're not with him, I hope you're not too disappointed. It looks very scary with March 20 approaching. Very best wishes to you and David Chater.
     

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