So why Iraq?

Growing up, the Iraq war has influenced much of my childhood. I remember 9/11 as an important moment, but I also remember as a child not understanding the importance of this event and wondering why my normal cartoons weren’t on after school. As an American, Iraq should play a more central role in my everyday life and understanding of international policies then it currently does. Quite frankly, throughout most of my life I knew as much about the Iraq war as Peter Griffin does at ground zero.

As I’ve gotten  older, I have gotten more informed. I now understand that the Iraq war had more history behind it then just 9/11. Key points of the war include the search for and death of Osama Bin Laden, the downfall of Saddam Hussein, the search for weapons of Mass Destruction, and the realization that these weapons may not exist. The resulting current events now focus on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) and the desire of this group for a united caliphate stretching across the Eastern Mediterranean. Specifically, ISIS has been connected with the beheading of two journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, showing that Iraq is not a current welcoming environment for journalism. At present, multiple news sources such as The New York Times, BBC News, and NPR have covered stories concerning events in Iraq. Many of these news sites also focus on US policies and actions regarding what to do with Iraq, especially ISIS.

In the following blog, I wish to explore the interactions between ISIS and international news coverage.  I hope to answer questions such as why is ISIS hostile towards reporters, how have they managed to recruit volunteers without news coverage, how has the Western media portrayed ISIS, is any way to guarantee a reporters safety in these conditions, among many other questions.

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