Where Fatima Bhutto’s (who pulled out) name appears on the printed programme you will find Megan Stack, a foreign correspondent for the LA Times.
She has covered Afghanistan and Iraq and 20 other countries but says Lebanon was the hardest war, and it’s difficult to remain objective when you are embedded and under sustained attack. Most people involved in wars are not being honest, both sides are lying, and the only thing you can depend on is what you see. It is something that can only be processed after you leave, she says.
It is difficult to see what the US plan is in Afghanistan and what anyone is going to do there, she says. The role of the Warlords is unclear.
She spoke movingly of her assistant in Baghdad who at personal risk was against Saddam, and supportive of America, only to have his 20-year-old son killed by US troops right outside his house as he went to buy an ice cream for his brother.
She talked about the boys whose arms were broken at the orders of Yitzhak Rabin, don’t shoot them or crush them, break their arms, then they can not throw stones at the tanks.
There’s so much there and this is a humble blog post. I think it’s best to read the book Every Man in This Village Is a Liar
I worked on the world news desk of the FT, which has one of biggest networks of foreign correspondents of any newspaper. I think Megan is exactly the kind of person one wants out there in the field. If you’ve the chance to hear her do so.