January 11, 2009

Publishing Schedule

I have a massive amount of material from my recent trips to Iraq and Lebanon to write up, but the war in Gaza is sucking up my time and attention. It's the biggest story by far in the Middle East right now, and nothing I have from the other countries is time-sensitive. I hope you don't mind if I stick with this a little bit longer before I return to my usual beat. I have a few more analysis pieces I need to write, one of which will contrast the 2009 war against Hamas in Gaza with the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

I doubt this conflict will last very much longer, and I'll get to the other material as soon as it winds down. If it does last a lot longer (and I really hope that it doesn't), I will get to work on my Lebanon and Iraq material anyway.

PS - Don't forget to vote for me in the 2008 Weblog Awards. You can vote every 24 hours until the poll closes on Tuesday. Juan Cole is slowly catching up, so I need your help. It only takes about two seconds to go over there and click on my name. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 11, 2009 12:55 PM

Firefighters target hotspots for good reason. The cooler topics can wait. I look forward to reading it all.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at January 11, 2009 2:53 PM

Go get 'em MJT. Your voice is needed.

The former editor at Ha'aretz, Hanoch Marmari, once said:

[The Israeli-Palestinian conflict] has created a real crisis of values for journalism. I believe I can compress the enormous volume of coverage and comment into four cardinal sins: obsessiveness, prejudice, condescension and ignorance.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at January 11, 2009 5:32 PM

Hi Michael, I am curious and looking forward to read your analysis, particularly on the Lebanese upcoming parliamentary elections and what are the probabilities that the March14 alliance could hold on to its majority.

Posted by: realist000 Author Profile Page at January 11, 2009 7:03 PM

It is good to read that you follow your news sense and go with the hot topic. It seems plausible to me that Hezbollah will strike again this summer given the poor response in 2006 and that most Israeli intel resources were working on the Gaza fight; what do you think? Also, have you thought of joining Pajamas Media to extend your reach and gather additional resources/writing gigs?
Bets Regards,
M -

Posted by: Mike Author Profile Page at January 12, 2009 1:54 PM

Hey, MJT -- regarding not allowing journalists into Gaza, I came across a brief throwaway comment in the last day or so somewhere that Israel knew there were journalists giving away tactical information to the enemy in 2006 -- it was unclear whether that was seen as deliberate or careless, but the former was the way it read to me.

What ARE the rules or conventions for war-zone journalists? I assume if you were embedded with an army, you aren't allowed to transmit insider info to the enemy or anyone else for that matter. But would the US Marines permit, say, a Yemeni or Saudi or Venezuelan journalist free access to the middle of a dangerous, close-quarters urban combat zone AS the Marines were trying to gain control of the setting?

Because given the way the Euro media for example treats Israel and IDF I'm still not convinced prohibiting journalists from a scene where you cannot afford any screw-ups (other than an alarming amount of friendly fire incidents)is inappropriate. They are taking select Israeli reporters and foreign camera crews with them on a limited basis, apparently.

Posted by: AZZenny Author Profile Page at January 12, 2009 7:09 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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