Reality of war means this is tip of iceberg

Bill Carmichael has got the wrong end of the stick (“Great Story, but where’s the evidence”, Letters, 13 May).

I wasn’t highlighting allegations of child prostitution, but the drought of reports reflecting the human face of the Iraq war.

For the record, the correspondent of a US weekly, tipped off by whistleblowers, is trying to stand-up the allegations.

Yes,
even in the Green Zone such things can happen. The sprawling zone is
open to insurgents who get in to launch attacks so prostitution is
quite possible. The correspondent’s got his work cut out as the girls
are reluctant to speak because they rightly fear deadly reprisals from
fundamentalists.

Mr Carmichael should open his eyes to the
reality of war. Such things – and far worse – happen. I’ve met girls
who’ve made such allegations and women who risk their lives to help
them.

But I was trying to show such stories are not given enough
weight. What happened to Zhara, who was raped and butchered, or the
four roadsweepers who were last week killed by a bomb hidden in
rubbish, reflects today’s Iraq.

I don’t blame fellow journalists
risking their necks. I blame their bosses for providing insufficient
resources, making insufficient use of Arabic journalists and ignoring
the importance of such tragic stories.

I am not anti-American. I respect Americans for at least putting the war centre stage, which we have not.

But
I put my hands up to being rabidly anti-war – hardly surprising as my
wife’s an Iraqi in Baghdad. Polls show most Americans and Britons want
the war stopped now too.

Mr Carmichael should remember it’s the
job of a democratic media to reflect these views and provide resources
to report the true face of war.

Lee Gordon

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