One of the most positive developments in our national debate in recent years has been the great respect and appreciation offered to American soldiers. As divisive as the Iraq war has been, everyone on both sides acknowledges that those doing the fighting are enduring enormously trying circumstances with admirable courage. It is now a common sight to see strangers approach soldiers in an airport or on the street to thank them for their service to the country.
But we don't often hear people offering the same kind of praise to the journalists who are performing a service just as valuable, and in many cases just as risky. Today's Washington Post contains a story about one of their reporters, Salih Saif Aldin, who was murdered yesterday in Baghdad. He was 32 years old, a father who risked his life every day because he believed that the world should understand what is happening in his country. Aldin had endured death threats, beatings, and countless dangerous situations to enable the Post to report the news from Iraq.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 118 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began, 96 of them Iraqi. Another 41 media support workers have also been killed. They shouldn't be forgotten.