Crossing over

Crossing over
: Tim Porter‘s fine media blog points us to a Boston Herald story by Jules Crittenden, a reporter who confesses that in the heat of battle, he crossed over from reporter-think to soldier-soul:

Down the broad avenue, the column halted in front of a Versailles-like palace, topped with four gargantuan and very bizarre busts of Saddam in an arabesque war helmet that caught our attention briefly, but the fire coming from the ditches under roadside hedges distracted us.

It was here I went over to the dark side. I spotted the silhouettes of several Iraqi soldiers looking at us from the shadows 20 feet to our left. I shouted, “There’s three of the (expletive) right there.”

“Where are the (expletive)?” Howison said, spinning around in his hatch.

“The (expletive) are right there,” I said, pointing.

“There?” he said, opening up with the 50. I saw one man’s body splatter as the large caliber bullets ripped it up. The man behind him appeared to be rising, and was cut down by repeated bursts.

“There’s another (expletive) over there,” I told Howison. The two soldiers in the crew hatch with me started firing their rifles, but I think Howison was the one who got him, firing through the metal plate the soldier was hiding behind.

Some in our profession might think as a reporter and non-combatant, I was there only to observe. Now that I have assisted in the deaths of three human beings in the war I was sent to cover, I’m sure there are some people who will question my ethics, my objectivity, etc. I’ll keep the argument short. Screw them, they weren’t there. But they are welcome to join me next time if they care to test their professionalism.

Right on.

Even the Boston Phoenix doesn’t criticize him: