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The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

2006, Vol, 6 No. 1 .


Baghdad Bulletin. The Real Story of the War in Iraq. Reporting from Beyond the Green Zone
David Enders

London: Pluto Press Publications, 2005, 179 pp 15 HB ISBN 0745324657.

The book provides a unique perspective on the Iraq war and details a distinctive angle of outlining what the Iraqi war was like for the daily lives of the Iraqi citizens. The most original aspect of the book is the fact that it is giving a direct account of the war from the street level, from the time before the war ended to during the immediate unstable post-war period. It is carefully crafted into 12 chapters which outline pivotal points in the war from May 2003 onwards to June 2004. Firstly, the author sets the scene by detailing the difficulties and Trojan efforts that he and the founders of the ?Baghdad Bulletin? had encountered in establishing an independent newsreel in Iraq that would provide the Iraqis with real independent news of what was going on in their country. In the initial stages of the book a real feel for what journalists are doing in Iraq and the importance of their work is clarified in the opening chapters. The account of the author?s experiences is another unique feature of the book; unlike many journalists, Enders avoids exaggerated accounts but rather focuses on providing an unprocessed but articulate vision of his experiences and goes beyond the already established journalistic arena by placing himself directly in the line of fire to understand what the war was like.

The book not only manages to detail and account visions and images from within the Iraqi war from a ground level view, it also encapsulates the difficulties journalists face in carrying out their job in Iraq and the level to which they place their lives in grave danger. It presents a carefully crafted set of entries that offer an informative insight into political and military struggles within Iraq. It is important to note that Enders moves much further than other ordinary journalists by establishing an independent newsletter, the ?Baghdad Bulletin,? written, printed and distributed in Baghdad during the war, overcoming prejudices, the war torn environment and serious financial constraints. The book would interest academics, journalists, students and people with a general interest in the Iraqi war, with specific interest in focusing on the ending of the official war and the immediate turbulence experienced post-war time. However, it is important to note that it is very much diary based, therefore allowing the reader to gain a unique perspective of the war in Iraq by reading the entries of one journalist.


Noel McGuirk, PhD Candidate, University of Ulster School of Law, INCORE Associate



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