James Nachtwey wounded in Iraq

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by preston_merchant, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. Grenade thrown at US convoy he and a TIME writer were accompanying. JN was wounded, possibly severely, according to Reuters: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news? tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031211/ts_nm/iraq_journalists_dc&cid=564&ncid=1480
     
  2. A better link is here.
     
  3. They say one was hurt more than the other but don't say who it was.
     
  4. from another report: "Weisskopf was severely wounded when he apparently climbed onto the hood of a Humvee and attempted to throw back the grenade. Witnesses said his actions most likely saved lives. Nachtway was less severely injured. Time said both were in stable condition and were awaiting transfer to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany."
     
  5. m_.

    m_.

    either one is a terrible news. can someone stop this non-sense?
     
  6. "can someone stop this non-sense?" sic Only Bush can.
     
  7. That's bad news, I think he is an exceptional photographer. But a war photographer getting wounded in a war, that's an occupational hazard... I'm sure he knew risks he was taking.
     
  8. Stephen I don't think Bush can stop this, even if foreign troops left there would be a civil war. Only Saddam can start the end of this conflict, and he's not likely to do that voluntarily. Regards Bruno
     
  9. Stephen I don't think Bush can end this conflict. Even if the foreign troops left there would probably be civil war. Saddam has to be removed and WITH the help of all those other Arab nations who are just sitting around watching what's going on, the Iraqi's can eventually move on from this situation. I really don't think Bush is in control anymore. Regards Bruno
     
  10. m_.

    m_.

    >>I really don't think Bush is in control anymore. << if you ask me: bush is never in control but he is responsible for the mess.
     
  11. cant stop it, thats people.
    history as usual, repeats itself. unfortunately, the toys today are far more dangerous....
     
  12. As Bob Brown, photographer and cameraman for CBS, killed at Jonestown, once said: Just get the best damn pictures you can of the sons-of-bitches trying to kill you! As for Bush being responsible... surely you mean G.H.W. Bush, and being responible by not taking out Saddam when he had the chance.
     
  13. Keep politics to yourselve or find the politics.net page. PLEASE. As to Nachtwey being wounded, I hope for a quick recovery.
     
  14. The timing for this is very hard for me. Yesterday, I spent several hours in the photography Museum in my town looking at over a hundred Natchtway prints from his traveling show. The prints were very hard to look at at times due to the subject matter, but the photography was so strong. Having only seen most of these shots in books, the large framed prints were quite impressive. As for Weisskopf, the NBC nightly news just reported he lost his hand when throwing the grenade out of the Humvee. Hopes for a quick recovery for both.
     
  15. Charles My reference to Bush not being in control was alluding to him not being able to end this conflict, which is what Wentong queried, but I do agree with your sentiments. Regards Bruno
     
  16. NBC Nightly News reported that though Nachtwey was wounded, he was still taking photos throughout the ordeal. If you've been living in a cave and aren't familiar with his work, then check out his website: http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/
     
  17. Let us hope for a safe and speedy recovery for both! BTW, does anyone know if "War Photographer" has been released on DVD or VHS?
     
  18. Don't know about VHS. But Amazon has the DVD. And I just ordered it from Netflix earlier today.
     
  19. Out of curiosity, what lens does Nachtwey shoot with mainly?
     
  20. ...But Amazon has the DVD.
    Thanks for the info Josh. I just ordered my copy from Amazon.
     
  21. If you watch the documentary, War Photographer, you will see that Nachtway is at least on his ninth life. There is footage of a riot in South Africa when a South African policeman discharged his weapon into a wall, killing the cameraman right next to Nachtway. One of the bullets appears to literally part Nachtway's hair. As I understand, this injury is a shrapnel wound to the gut and though painful is not going to be life threatening. Weisskopf lost his hand but is also going to recover, albeit without his hand - a loss particularly sharply felt by a writer to be sure (his right hand, the one with which he writes.) They are in a military hospital now and will be flown out to Germany on Saturday. You can probably send wishes of health to Nachtway's photo agency, VII - http://www.viiphoto.com/, and of course to Weisskopf at Time - they will be appreciated I am sure. Buy Nachtwey's new book, Inferno, available at www.photoeye.com. The prints are excellent.
     
  22. Josh...thank you! I ordered the DVD last night. I heard on NPR this AM that both have been airlifted to Germany.
     
  23. What is the purpose of buying the DVD and books? Is it for entertainment? Something to watch while sitting on the overstuffed sofa and sipping the single malt? Or does it change your life? If so, in what way. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm trying to understand. I see a lot of powerful images that are thought provoking, but after a while they become part of the streaming video of life, and it's back to the usual stuff. The images become part of the cranial library. Nothing more. Maybe I'm shallow.
     
  24. oh man that really sucks..
     
  25. sorry Vic, I was referring to JN being injured. Not your post in anyway..;) errrr
     
  26. Trav, can I call you Trav? Yes, it really sucks. In a way everyone's tragedy should be a wake up call that something's wrong with the world. I was listening to NPR (public radio) where a doctor said that every 30 seconds an African child dies due to the lack of a cheap malaria fighting drug. That's over a million Nachtwey's a year. One feels impotent upon hearing stuff like this.
     
  27. Vic, yes you can. But what can we do Vic? Bad things happen to many people. Unless massive efforts are employed to eradicate these things, the general population can only watch on the sidelines. I hope that by doing no harm, we are helping others one way or the other...
     
  28. Well then vic, What is the point of anything? Why read a book? Why talk to anyone? Why take a photo? It's all just part of the steram of life as well. Nothing is ever new, so why bother?
     
  29. A lot of these 3rd world countries need to get their populations under control. Do I feel sorry for them? Somewhat, but nature has a way of curbing overgrowth. Oh! Imma get it now from the irrationals.
     
  30. Josh, I didn't say there was no point in doing anything. I was trying to understand what motivated people to do what they did. For example, some people look at Nachtwey's (or even Salgado's) work and only point out things such as bokeh and tonality, i.e., technical specs, and ignore the editorial content of the picture. They then move on to looking at ass pictures with the same critical eye. Nothing wrong with ass pictures, they're just a different genre, and deserve a different reaction. Nachtwey's stuff should be looked at differently than ass pictures. There have been pictures on this forum of extreme poverty, and of extremely inhumane conditions in places such as Tibet, India, and so on, but the only reaction people seem to have is about the artistic element of the pictures. There is art and there is documentary. Surely the two have different intentions. I would classify Nachtwey as more documentary than art. Indeed, photography is higher than just pixels on a page. If I'm missing something, please forgive me. Thanks. As for James' comment, yes, everyone should sort out their own problems, but if one does believe in God, or even if one doesn't, then surely some part of the human inside one would say that one was put on this earth for a higher purpose than to be smug and content with one's lot. Otherwise what has Christianity taught us?
     
  31. James You make the 'irrationals' sound like a bunch of civil war mercenaries! :) Regards Bruno
     
  32. There's a root to any problem. Not addressing it and actually helping it along is not tough love.
     
  33. Vic, From my standpoint Nachtwey's pictures are "artistic" in the way that any good photograph is artistic. They get their point across and tell a story by choice of content and through composition. The intense eyes of a boy in Grosny with a shaved head of hair that looks like a burned down field, with ruins of a city in the background... tells a story and makes a summation of many things and thoughts about the nature of humanity. What one brings to it is up to the viewer. I understand the point you are making, but certainly awareness of what goes on beyond our protected world is better than not being aware of it at all.
     
  34. From what I've read, it appears that Weisskopf, in the act of losing his hand, saved his own life and that of Nachtwey's, along with the 2 soldiers traveling with them.
     
  35. Don't waste even an ounce of your pity, James. By the time the Karma boomerangs back this way, you'll need it all for yourself.
     
  36. ohh ok. so there are some big talkers here, watcha doing about the world problems other than pontificating.
     
  37. James, you make the world a brighter place. I guess you're reassured by Bush & Rumsfeld's valiant attempts at reducing "third world" overpopulation - they're certainly making an impact on the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. God bless America.........
     
  38. Oh here we go with the anti-American sentiment. I'm not, for the record, a Bush supporter in most ways, esp. Iraq. We Americans should though start buying mostly American products, but the bad thing is who would you guys sell your products to?
     
  39. Like I said lots of hot air. Name some charitable acts you nay-sayers are doing to save the world on your able non-American shoulders. Hmn? It's not like Saddam and his boyz weren't/aren't butcherers.
     
  40. AMERICA!!! what about the rest of the world! there are points of view that I don´t understand, and I don´t mean any of you, that I have hardly read, just thinking that there can be winners and lossers in such acts of coward war. God bless the love inside every one of us in this planet! God bless the common sensce! And wish for past present and future pictures of photographers like Nachtwey to face us to reality. Wish him well.
     
  41. I don't have any "anti-American" sentiment, but I do have a great deal of contempt for those born by chance in to the "first world" who imagine that the problems of the "third world" are all self-inflicted. Your question regarding who "you guys" (a lovely and revealing choice of words by the way) would sell our products to suggests that your grasp of economics is as fragile as your grasp on demographics.
     
  42. Well, the US should do a little experiment- become economically protectionist for a few years. If you hadn't noticed, when the US is doing poorly economically, the whole world suffers. And conversely. Just a fact.
     
  43. http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=3543
     
  44. James, turn some of that 'tough love' on yourself, why don't you.
     
  45. haha good one. you still haven't answered what you do to help the starving.
     
  46. James, there is enough food (as well as clothing and shelter) in the world so that there should be no starvation or suffering due to medical conditions. The reason people starve is due to inefficient distribution systems. These distribution systems are usually made inefficient because of the political situation in the affected regions. This could take the form of corrupt dictatorships that put their interests ahead of the lives of their citizens, or a war zone where it is unsafe to deliver food, or other reasons. You can get all this knowledge by reading the works of experts in this field. It is rather naïve and simplistic to blame the suffering for their own predicament.
    To answer you rquestion: So what am I doing about suffering in the world?
    There are direct and indirect ways.
    By speaking out against injustice, rather than keeping quiet. (i.e., Anti-Bush doesn’t mean Anti-American, as our Patriot Act nimrods would like you to believe.)
    By educating those around oneself, by increasing their awareness.
    By having trade relations so that these economies benefit from such investment.
    If you think, there are many ways. One has to first take care of one’s immediate reality and responsibilities, and then take care of others.
    It is easy to crawl into your hole and feel superior about being American. Like a good Christian. So here James, in the Christmas spirit, are some words from your good book:
    For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
    --Matthew 16:26
    Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
    --Romans 12:21
    Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
    --Hebrews 13:2
    Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    --Matthew 6:19-21
    I have shown you in every way by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.
    --Acts 20:35
    Peace.
     
  47. Sorry to disappoint you James, but the US isn't going to be running your protectionist experiment any time soon - maybe you didn't notice Bush's glorious climbdown over steel tariffs when the EU called his bluff. Maybe that record USD491billion trade deficit is weighing heavily on his mind - could be one of the reasons for the constant whining about the value of the yuan. I'm sorry but that lame link to The Globalist hasn't persuaded me that your grasp of economics isn't a touch on the flakey side.
     
  48. Point a finger and thumb your nose, it's all you do huh. Please enlighten us with your economics knowledge. Like I've said all along lots of rhetoric and hand-waving. I think the topsoil erosion the US is experiencing is enough to make us conserve our natural resources.
     
  49. I think that you're beyond enlightening with any knowledge of economics - or anything else for that matter. As regards to "thumbing my nose" all I've done is respond to your crass boorish comments on the state of the world. For what it's worth, particularly in light of your surreal topsoil comment, I suspect you're actually an attention starved 13 year old boy. If by any chance you really are an adult then I find you too scary for words.
     
  50. So bottom line, we're all alike with the exception I'm not being a hypocrite. Nor a hater. Take your anti-attitudes and talk to a brick wall about them. It will at least be on your level.
     
  51. Boris, I suspect you're a jackass with a pseudonym. http://topsoil.nserl.purdue.edu/nserlweb/isco99/pdf/ISCOdisc/SustainingTheGlobalFarm/P222-McCool.pdf
     
  52. You're in a hole James, why not stop digging?
     
  53. The world according to Boris the Jackass.
     
  54. I am undoubtedly a jackass - but where does that leave you........
     
  55. A hot air sorta one, I don't see a patron icon next to your saintly name.
     
  56. Topic of this thread is that a great photographer was almost killed, any of us in our right minds are certainly thankful he wasn't.
     
  57. James says: "when the US is doing poorly economically, the whole world suffers." Ho yes, when them do poorly economicaly or run out of gas, the world suffers: a war, like now, I´m one of those who believes 9/11 was made up, time will tell; such a coincidence it got President Bush in a classroom in fron of children class, I mean his performace as an actor was so bad... And believe me, I´m NOT antiamerican, how could I be, I belong to the largest part of it, Latinoamerica. And we understand econimic politics very well, as we are the suffering part of it. Sorry for being so out topic. By the way I know more of any of you by your pictures than your writing, and find not point in discusion with you Mr.James.
     
  58. OK this whole thread got off tangent when someone started talking about how we should all be saving the world. It just disintegrated from there, and yes my arguments lack a solid foundation, but it's hard not to reply to the higher-and-holier-than-thous.
     
  59. "I don't see a patron icon next to your saintly name" This sort of behaviour is exactly why I believe the whole icon nonsense is so counterproductive. As to JN, better luck next time.
     
  60. Saw "War Photographer" last night at Lutz Konermann's place in Zurich, I hadn't seen it before. Well, it was quite an impressive achievement, but mainly a hagiography. Christian Frei, the director, seemed to be unable to question a lot of issues around how images are produced and used. On the whole, not a challenging film, but quite inspiring if you wanted to be told that photography is a noble enterprise. I thought quite a lot more could have been done with the topic. Nachtwey was strangely silent on the origins and meanings of the conflicts he was involved in photographing, which i found strange in a person who has dedicated his life to this task. His belief - held against all the evidence - that somehow photography could have the potential to bring an end to war per se, seemed to be a story he was telling himself to avoid facing the nature of what he was involved in doing. The film never questioned the nature of his involvement. I was quite disappointed. For me, the most distressing section was the one on the sulphur mine.
     
  61. The film never questioned the nature of his involvement. That's a thought. Love or leave him, X has commitement. which is not about commercial gain. Not that i'm saying James Nachtwey is any different. Hey, they have got Sad man. His killing of folk has ended. Shame about his sons, who he trained as pycho killers.
     
  62. Of course Sad man gave up without a fight, his not stupid, totally. Only those around him are, mostly. But of course he knew that, folks without a mind of there own; they need something to follow.
     
  63. Frank, as far as I know, Nachtwey has never heard of me and probably never will, and even if he had, he wouldn't give a flying fcuk at the moon what I think. Nonetheless, I have an opinion - is that bad? Or should we worship the saint because he's stuck full of arrows? This is a discussion forum, but the one thing that seems to be discouraged here is discussion. Welcome to phthoto.net.
     
  64. I do not think he really is. Perhaps he has seen the suffering of those with little choice. To be honest documentary journalists have choice. They can always go home. However, you have to respect them for their courage.
     
  65. Xinbad, I have yet to see that film. Though I will next week when it gets here. But I'd be interested to hear, given your review above, what opinion you have of books like "Requiem" or "Vietnam Inc". Did you come away with the same feelings? I know it's not really easy to compare a documantary DVD and the two books. But still, I'll assume you get what I'm asking.
     
  66. Josh - I have seen Inferno, not the other books, which I think are not by Nachtwey? Anyway, there's no doubt that Nachtwey is a terrific snapper - much better purely aesthetically than Salgado, for instance, and as a photographer, that is all that counts. As a person, he seemed from the fillum to be less than engaged at a level that I would find interesting in his subjects. He did not seem to have much of an opinion about what he was photographing, other than that it was awful and painful, which is obvious. It would have been interesting for the film to have brought out the glee of the Stern editors over heaps of bodies and got Nachtwey's reaction to that. There were moments in which such a confrontation would have been possible (the Geo woman's questioning of how he makes his living). Maybe it was part of the contract that he wouldn't be questioned? I don't know. And another thing that could have been done would have been to question some of the people he was photographing about their opinion of this fact. On the whole the film was a hagiography, it took the noble venture idea at face value and didn't question it. The result was that there was no conflict in the film which would have gone deeper into the subject and brought esomething new to light. It was flat and not very interesting beyond the technical achievement, which was pretty amazing.
     
  67. About Saddam - you can be sure the killing in Iraq has only just started. There will be a hiatus while the occupation powers install their puppets and withdraw, but a triangular civil war seems pretty inevitable now that this power vacuum has been created with Saddam's capture.
     
  68. Xinbad, Good deal, thanks for expanding more on your comments. I will have to re-read them after I see the DVD. As clarification for anyone not familiar with the books I mentioned above: "Vietnam Inc." is by Philip Jones Griffiths and is an account of his three years photographing the Vietnam war. The book is somewhat to highly critical of the US government’s policy and course of action in the Vietnam war. Published first in 1971, the book is considered by many to have contributed to the turn of public opinion against the war. "Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina" is a coffee table sized book about the photographers who died in Vietnam. It was put together by Horst Faas and Tim Page, two photographers who worked and were themselves wounded in Vietnam. Some of the photographers are well known (Robert Capa, Sean Flynn), others are much less so including a number of Viet Cong photographers. The images are powerful if only for the fact that many times they were shot moments before the photographer was killed.
     
  69. Xinbad, with reference to your comments on Saddam, I just saw an interview (on C-Span Booknotes) with Margaret MacMillan, who recently wrote a book called "Paris 1919 - Six Months That Changed the World" which might interest you. http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=0-375-50826-0 I'm paraphrasing, so forgive my memory, but she stated that Iraq was a British creation of three volatile ethnic/religious groups, purposely put together so that it was perpetually weak. Also, it was separated from Kuwait so that Iraq had no access to the sea, and so remained beholden to the British. (Interesting book in many other ways.) Amazing, 84 years later the troubles still go on.
     
  70. Well, you may recall that Saddam indicated that Iraq "would not choose death" in his interview with April Glaspie which greenlighted the invasion of Kuwait in August 2000. He was specifically referring to Kuwaiti control of the Shatt el Arab (?) waterway which deprives Iraq of security in oil exports.
     
  71. Xin, your review of Nachtwey's personal character is less than glowing. Recently there was another one here on Winogrand, where he didn't really know why he did what he did, almost as if he was an idiot savant. Is it important for someone's personal character and lifestyle to live up to their body of work?
    To take two bizarre examples from outside the realm of photography, (1) Wagner's music still causes controversy in certain circles because of his Nazi-ish political views, and (2) there are a lot of fans of Arthur C. Clarke (2001 Space Odyssey, etc.), who was an incorrigible pedophile (loved buggering young boys) who ran off to live in Sri Lanka for many years because he could live his lifestyle with impunity, outside Western scrutiny. Do (1) and (2) diminish the body of their work in any way? In 200 years the only thing that will be left is their work, and not their life. So if Nachtwey (and Winogrand) opened up people's consciences, isn't that more important than whether they were cultured Renaissance men who examined their lives and motivations? Just wondering.
     
  72. Vic, I don't see the connection among your examples. Regardless of political views and sexual preferences, Wagner and Clarke may have been quite articulate about their work -- their reasons for doing it, how they fit into the respective professions, etc. X's complaint against Nachtwey seems to be that he is relatively inarticulate about his motivations and goals.
     
  73. Nachtwey seems only interested in delivering the goods--which is to say he is fully committed to what he's doing and he doesn't waste a lot of time wringing his hands over it. It's clear from the movie that he is very quiet and engaged, and he admits to an amount of self-loathing. Whatever sound-byte moralism he offers for the cinematographer seems just that--an injunction to leave him alone and let him do what he does. He doesn't feel he has to justify himself. And why should he? He shoots for whatever reasons he cares to, and doesn't feel compelled to articulate them. I wonder why, though, when shooting Tri-X in flat light with an EOS 1v he needs to fiddle around with a handheld light meter. Obviously, it's all moviemaking--which is why you shouldn't read too much into his confessions.
     
  74. Frank, I got the "info" from the New York Times, which had a full page article on Clarke a few years ago, in the front section. I therefore assumed it was not in the realm of gossip, but legitimate fact. You can search their archives. As for my "experience" I didn't write anything about myself, so please don't project. Best regards.
     
  75. "Is it important for someone's personal character & lifestyle to live up to their body of work?" No it isn't, but inevitably someone's personal character informs their work. There's a huge contrast between, eg, Peress's work and that of Nachtwey. Nachtwey's detachment from the underlying causes of conflict in many ways works to his advantage, the simplicity of his vision makes him a much more palatable witness to the world's woes to his employers at Time than a more politically engaged photographer. This doesn't alter the fact that he's undoubtedly one of the finest photographers of conflict that we've seen, but it does mean he's unlikely to produce a body of work as challenging and diverse as Peress (Farewell To Bosnia actually seems to have been the blueprint for the design of Inferno) or Luc Delahaye (who with Wintereisse really pushed the bar significantly higher).
     
  76. Anybody have an update on Nachtwey's condition? Thanks. Lonny
     
  77. From message 34444 on Nikon Manual Focus forum: "Photo District News Online December 18, 2003 http://www.pdnonline.com PDNEWSWIRE - James Nachtwey is now home recovering after the grenade attack in Iraq; his flak jacket, helmet and brave colleague may have saved his life. http://www.pdnonline.com/photodistrictnews/search/search_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=2053517 [Start of quoted material.] Update: Weisskopf, Protective Gear Saved Nachtwey's Life December 16, 2003 By Jay DeFoore Fellow VII photographer Chris Anderson says two things saved James Nachtwey's life after last week's grenade attack in Baghdad: Time senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf tossing the grenade away from the vehicle and Nachtwey wearing his protective helmet and vest. "Michael is the real hero in this. And Jim is not exactly known for wearing his vest and helmet in the field, but fortunately this time he was," Anderson says. "He was lucky." Anderson spoke to a heavily sedated Nachtwey at a hospital in Baghdad about 18 hours after the attack. Anderson says Nachtwey suffered shrapnel wounds to his arms, legs and hip, but "nothing that's going to be permanently damaging." Nachtwey told Anderson that the open-backed military Humvee they were riding in had either stopped or was moving slowly through a crowd of people when the grenade was tossed into the back seat. Weisskopf acted quickly to throw it away but it exploded shortly after release, severing the writer's hand. The two soldiers from the Army's 1st Infantry Division suffered injuries that were not believed to be as serious. Time photo editor Jay Colton says he expects the photographer to be back at work shortly after physical therapy. "I'd probably conservatively say it will be close to three months before he's up and working again like he's used to," Colton says. Shortly after Anderson spoke to him, Nachtwey was transferred to the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany where he underwent surgery. He is now recovering and scheduled to arrive back in New York on Tuesday, December 16. The attack against Nachtwey, a photojournalist whose storied career has taken him to some of the world's most dangerous places, has highlighted the dangers facing journalists in Iraq. Photographers say the country is more dangerous now than it's ever been, especially Baghdad and areas in the so-called "Sunni Triangle." PDN spoke to Anderson Tuesday afternoon from his room at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. As if to underscore the dangers war correspondents face, the firecracker sounds of a gun battle could be heard through the satellite connection. At one point it grew so fierce Anderson had to duck for cover and call back a few minutes later. "Frankly I'm quite surprised more journalists have not been hurt or killed here," Anderson says. "Because it's becoming harder for insurgents to attack the military, they're now going after other targets. Basically, anybody who looks like a foreigner is a target, and that includes journalists. They're not necessarily targeting journalists, but they're definitely not taking the time to make a distinction between us and any other foreigners." The problems for journalists in Iraq are myriad. U.S. military forces experience dozens of attacks each day, so journalists accompanying soldiers on military maneuvers face increased dangers, usually with heavier weapons. But even when they strike out on their own, walking the markets and streets where they interact with everyday Iraqis, journalists are putting themselves in harm's way. Aurora photographer Ashley Gilbertson, an Australian, was recently ambushed by militants with an assault rifle. Gilbertson was in a car when another vehicle pulled up beside his, noticed he was a Westerner and opened fire. His driver quickly sped away with the militants giving chase. When Gilbertson's car approached a military convoy, the assailants fled. Even the journey to Baghdad can present a series of life-threatening challenges. Journalists can either fly into the Baghdad International Airport and hope that their plane is not hit by frequent ground-to-air missile attacks, or they can take an eight-hour drive in from Jordan, often in old, beaten-up cars across pock-marked roads. Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay recently arrived at the Palestine Hospital with his own harrowing story of survival. Anderson says on the way into Baghdad, Delay's driver was going at a high rate of speed when a tire blew, sending the car into several forward rolls. "He was banged up but no broken bones," Anderson says. "It could have been a lot worse." At least 17 journalists have died in Iraq covering the war, including at least four killed by U.S. forces. Part of the problem has been the ease with which weapons can be purchased. Aurora photographer Samantha Appleton, who just returned to New York after ten weeks in Iraq, says hand grenades can be bought for as little as 25 cents on the streets of Baghdad. "I could easily go out and have a box of grenades in an hour," she says. Anderson says if the safety situation gets much worse, or if any more journalists are targeted and killed, many journalists may pull out. "If things continue the way they are, I can envision a time here in Iraq where it will not be possible for Western journalists to cover the story, where you don't have any access and it's simply too dangerous to cover as a Westerner," he says. In that case, local Iraqi photographers would have to step in and take up the slack. "It could be a good opportunity for Iraqi photographers," Anderson says. While Anderson admits that Nachtwey might be a little depressed that he couldn't be in Iraq for the capture of Saddam Hussein, he says Nachtwey's greatest relief after the attack was having completed the story Time sent him to work on. "He's very dedicated and passionate and he comes to do his story and it's important for him to finish it," Anderson says. He was partly relieved he had accomplished his mission. That's the legend of Jim Nachtwey." [End of quoted material.]
     

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