Reporters on the Job
• America's Arab Allies: Reporter Nicholas Blanford says that he didn't have to go hunting for American allies (this page). For Monday's story, one friend of the US came to him during a lunch party in Beirut, Lebanon, a couple of weeks ago.
"I was asked about a recent trip I made to Iraq," says Nick. "During the course of this conversation, a rather distinguished looking gentleman broke in to say how disappointed he was with the Bush administration's stance toward the Arab world. He launched into an impassioned monologue on how much he respected the US and liked the American people but was deeply depressed at what he said were the double standards practiced by the current administration. After lunch, he came up to me and admitted that he had written his thoughts down in a letter." A few days later, he dropped off a copy to Nick.
"In Beirut, one is used to hearing anti-American sentiment, but it is not often that one hears such passion from such a longtime supporter of the US," says Nick.
• Lesson in Guerrilla Tactics: Staff writer Scott Peterson is embedded with US marines near Fallujah (page 1). Sunday, he rode with a combat-supply convoy to various troop positions in the area.
"At one base camp, I was shown a dump truck that had been used to attack US troops. The back was filled with sandbags and inside was a 120 mm rocket-launching tube. Just last week, a similar setup had been used to fire three rockets into the center of the camp," says Scott. "The master sergeant told me that they suspected that Iraqis hired as contractors had scouted the camp and given its precise location."
David Clark Scott