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Aug-28-2008 09:36printcommentsVideo

One Day in Baghdad: Part 1 (VIDEO)

Iraqi Special Forces kill terrorists at Dora and record the aftermath on a cell phone camera.

Salem-News.com
Iraqi Special Forces pose for the camera. Baghdad, Iraq.
Photo by Tim King

(BAGHDAD, Iraq) - An embedded reporter in Iraq can travel through the country a couple of different ways. The top choice is to catch a ride aboard military aircraft. On this particular day, I needed to reach the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad to receive reporter's credentials. My day started at 4:30 AM by boarding a twin engine Army plane for the flight to Iraq's capitol.

Arriving at Baghdad International Airport, another photographer and I found a group of Iraqi soldiers in HUMVEE's that have been provided to their Army by the U.S. government. The soldiers were extremely proud of the armored vehicles and it is easy to understand why. While this is my first time visiting Iraq, I did spend the winter of 2006/2007 in Afghanistan.

There, Afghan Army soldiers were relegated to driving the small, unarmored Ford Ranger pick-up's. The HUMVEE is far from perfect, but it is remarkably safer than a small unarmored pick-up, and the HUMVEE's undoubtedly go a long way toward saving lives.

Many of Baghdad's sites remain unchanged- in spite of the war here. That seems interesting to note with respect to the duration of the fighting that has taken place. Other parts of Iraq are not in the same state; areas like the Diyala‏ Province and Dora, where a group of Iraqi Special Forces soldiers that I met had reportedly killed two terrorists earlier in the day.

This group of Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad had no problem talking on camera. They recorded the bodies of the men they said were terrorists on a cell phone camera. I, like many reporters, have been very critical of the war here in Iraq and that is one of the reasons I am here right now. I wanted to see first-hand what is taking place and it seems that the most valuable opinion comes from the Iraqi soldiers themselves.

Terrorists in this country will kill their own and that obviously represents a degraded standard at best. It is one thing for American politicians and even servicemen to discuss the war on terror, but when the words come from the very people who live here, it gives reason to pause and consider the more positive ramifications of this war.

One officer, Lt. Col. Jerry Brooks who is stationed at Camp Victory at Baghdad, told me that while the disbanding of Saddam Hussein's Army has been heavily disputed, it was necessary.

"They amounted to a band of thugs," Brooks said. "Try to imagine a gang from LA wearing uniforms and calling the shots for a society. It is a bad idea no matter how you look at it."

The Iraqi Special Forces soldiers expressed a great deal of pride in their success on this day, and they attribute that in part to the work they have done with U.S. forces. It is a lot to take in, but it reminds me that the heart of most Americans is in the right place and that the entire world is fortunate that Iraq is seeing the degree of peace that is now at hand.

Let's hope it stays that way and branches out to other parts of the country still mired in violence and death.

DISCLAIMER: THE VIDEO BELOW HAS SOME GRAPHIC SCENES.
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Produced by Tim King

__________________________________

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Tim King September 8, 2008 11:29 am (Pacific time)

Rod, you bet I did and I know it is worth a chuckle. The thing takes up ample room but at least I don't need to drag the tripod everywhere I go! I know you relate, and things are going well over here. It is always good to hear from you, we'll have to sit down and have lunch when I return when KGW gives you a few minutes! Wa alaykum Assalam, Tim


Vic September 5, 2008 7:43 am (Pacific time)

How did they know the two men killed were terrorists? Maybe they were trying to protect their families.


Rod Stevens September 4, 2008 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

Nice Job Tim, I know what you're going through and dealing with. I hope you didn't drag that DVC Pro Camera over there, but if you did you Rock! Stay Safe!


Henry Ruark August 31, 2008 8:42 am (Pacific time)

To all: Did NOT check out comments here prior to mine just-now on other Tim-report, purposely, to provide unfettered appreciation here. sts has it right on the money, including her sharp recognition of how well her Comments fare here. But cannot agree that Tim is lead-by-nose, since having been in similar situations (NOT overseas !) can assure you skilled observer (as we surely have in Tim !) finds way around whatever hampering they may try. He's sharper than your average military PR-perpetrator. SO thank you all for your good wishes for Tim, and for your continued confidence in what he is doing for us. Truth can set you free, but first one must find it, and then appreciate it...


sts August 31, 2008 8:22 am (Pacific time)

I feel Tim is an honest and hardworking person, doing all he can to find the truth. Even traveling halfway across the planet. sts reads a bit and complains from his computer. Actually, I do alot of political activism exposing many untruths. But, maybe its ME that should keep things in perspective sometimes. Thanks for the honest response Tim. I'll keep good thoughts for ya.


Tim King August 30, 2008 10:49 pm (Pacific time)

I have only seen what I have seen so far, and that is not to say the picture could not change. I have paperwork in to go to a number of places around Iraq and so what sts suggests will come to pass. All is not rosy here, but the Green Zone of Baghdad is doing very well. I really can only relay what I see and experience. I am not a person who modifies facts, and I arrived here with no agenda. The work in Baghdad was unexpected and there will be other unexpected parts of this coming down the line. Thanks for your input.


sts August 30, 2008 3:15 pm (Pacific time)

this website edits my comments, and so far, I have to say, you are doing a great job. Thanks.. You dont change my thought process, you just make it more professional. I do not mind that type of editing. thanks again.


sts August 30, 2008 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

The military will let Tim go where they want him to go. The military, already knows, that there will be journalists wanting to come to Iraq. They strategically design a "pathway" thru the small areas that are doing well. Tim is being used, just as I thought he would be. Used to further "their" agenda. You should read some REAL Iraq news sometime. Sorry for the sarcasim, I know tim is good hearted. But this stuff irks me. More propaganda for the lieing war machine, and tim fell right into it. Sorry tim.
Of course a few are going to say something positive, but what about the millions displaced to other countries, cant come home, and the hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children that were killed. I just don't want people forgetting the truth. No wmd's, the u.s. killed more than saddam did, they have no water, while, the largest u.s. embassy in the world is being built on their holy land, after bombing the mosque that sat there. Keep things in perspective.


sts August 30, 2008 4:24 am (Pacific time)

this link was written in 2005: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050121/news_1n21water.html

this link was written today: http://www.tbo.com/news/nationworld/MGBSEG65W4F.html


g3rmg August 29, 2008 4:33 pm (Pacific time)

Good story/video, brother. Stay safe. Let the younger guys walk point.


Philly Phil August 29, 2008 9:44 am (Pacific time)

God Bless you my friend, stay safe and out of harms way.


Nancy Steinbeck August 29, 2008 8:34 am (Pacific time)

Dude, you're brave! Thanks for bucking MSM news and carrying on a great tradition. Johnny passed the torch to you! Stay safe.


G/2-3 August 29, 2008 6:39 am (Pacific time)

I totally concur with Ryno. Semper Fi.,and if it's any consolation, you scare me sometimes,take care man.


CANDY August 29, 2008 4:27 am (Pacific time)

TIM, STAY SAFE, WE NEED TO HAVE OUR FAVORITE REPORTER BACK SAFETLY ON U.S. SOIL AGAIN. TAKE CARE AND GREAT JOB! CANDY


Rick Lewis August 28, 2008 2:51 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, I sent you an e-mail as well, but keep up the good work. I see alot of familiar sites. My hope is that your experience will give you a different view of the Iraqis, how they feel about us and their dreams for the future. Wa Alaykum Assalam, brother.


Q Madp August 28, 2008 10:59 pm (Pacific time)

Good Job Tim!!


Cody August 28, 2008 10:05 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, I look forward to a very informational month from you. Thanks for getting deep in the situation that we as Americans truly need to stay informed of.


Ryno August 28, 2008 8:44 pm (Pacific time)

Keep your head down and the camera rolling, Tim. Stay safe and take care


Sterling August 28, 2008 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

You are the man Tim!!! stay safe over there. You and your family are in our prayers. God Bless


Rusty the Fox August 28, 2008 2:25 pm (Pacific time)

Great job Tim!

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