Read through archived FRONTLINE/World
conversations around this story below, including responses
from the reporters.
Alan Zachwieja - Port Angeles,
While I gave a longer response to the story about a return
to Vietnam, I really appreciated the story about the Kurds.
The personal POV, with camera at eye level, in the midst
of events, made us, the viewers, feel like we were there,
accompanying the journalist. He did a great job. And so
did the cameraman. (Add in the soundman and maybe a producer/director,
who remained invisible.) Altogether, a well-told and thorough
story. The poor woman was seen and we shared her grief,
close without being intrusive, nor did the correspondent
intrude...a wise choice on his part. And the reporter uncovered
"the dirty little secrets" that every side, unfortunately,
has in a conflict. And that did not appear in the sanitized
versions which appeared in our national TV news. The Kurds
are our current heroes, in the American mythos. And well
they deserve and need a homeland, their own "stan." But
every fighting force has its brutes that will try to get
away with committing atrocities, such as the senseless shooting
of the 8 year old boy in the taxi. Another example of why
revenge never works, and why it remains one of the lower
forms of human nature, never attaining to become one of
our human virtues. Having the story told from the POV of
being on the ground, also showed me so much more of the
real life, in the real places, with the ambiguities of individual
Arabs and Turkmens suffering personal injustices amidst
great complexities, than was ever revealed by more detached
news reports on the mass media. We were able to experience
the real event--the fall of the frontline of the Iraqi army
run by the Baathists--and to comprehend some of the complexities
of the aftermath, that will make "winning the peace" even
more difficult than winning the war.
Redee - San Diego, California
I think it would be much more problematic in the future
for the region if the Kurds were to have their own country
stuck between two countries (Turkey and Iraq) who do not
want a Kurd dominated state between both countries. There
are deeply rooted animosities and hate by the Kurds against
Turkey and Iraq for having repressed them for so long. It
is better to mend past differences and create a region of
partnerships between peoples and countries of the region.
Ethnic exclusivity creates nothing but war and problems
for countries. I think the solution lies in establishing
representative governments both in Turkey and Iraq where
the individual and ethnic rights are respected.
GG Graham - California
The Kurds should have their own land.
Jordan Shepler - Atlanta, Georgia
The situation in the Middle East has always been very sensitive,
especially in recent years. I don't believe the formation
of another unstable rogue country would be in the best interests
of any one. Also a new country of this such would require
close governing by the U.S.; a task we yet again are not
Tony Kuhn - Waukesha, Wisconsin
Do I think the Kurds are
worthy of their own country, emphatically yes! Do I think
it will ever happen? No! The U.S. has a debt to pay to the
Kurds, though. We have been two-faced to them since Mustafa
Barzani--depended on which way the wind blew. Not too proud
of my country now.
Barbara Sutherland - Greenfield, Ohio
This what I call "real news of interest" not entertainment
and sensationalism. We see through your reporters, places
and situations, conditions that we could not imagine exist
in our wonderful, united states.
Anonymous - Denver, Colorado
I am one of the Special
Forces soldiers Sam was with on the road to Kirkuk, dodging
bullets and artillery rounds. Thanks to Sam and his cameraman
for saying what needed to be said. I wish he had more time
to fill with his footage. I told Sam I think he's crazy
to do what he does. I wouldn't go to a gunfight with a camera.
We didn't mind Sam's presence because we were confident
that he would not endanger our mission or compromise our
identities. Thanks for the non-US perspective, Sam. It's
sometimes hard to hear, but needed. In parting, we told
him to keep his head down, but I had little hope that he
would. Whatever guardian angel has been saving Sam's ass
all this time, I hope he continues to do so.
Kiarash Kamrava - Redlands, California
Your report on the history of the Kurds was very interesting,
informative, and well appreciated. Though I don't consider
myself knowledgeable in Kurdish studies, I foresee some
problems in the idea of complete autonomy for Kurdistan.
If possible, an alternative might be to install a similar
system as exists in the U.S. where in The new Iraqi regime
there could be federation of states, including a Kurdish
state as well as a Shiite state. That way the groups are
given a certain level of independence as well as stability
of a centralized government. Views, opposing or in agreement,
to my comment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Anonymous - Coolin, Idaho
Thank goodness there is
still this quality of reporting on TV! (Thank you PBS and
KSPS-TV, Spokane,WA!) An excellent record of the real costs
of war, still allowed to be shown on U.S. mass media networks.
I worry a lot about the erosion of freedom of the press
and what isn't seen on U.S. TV; programs of this type and
quality restore my hope that liberty will prevail.
Anonymous - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
They should have had their land back in WW1. However,
who are we to tell them how to live?