Michael J. Totten, Interviewed by National Review Online
I found this interview posted over at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistans (PUK) Homepage. Michael J. Totten is an excellent journalist and the PUKs’ homepage is a place I visit often to get positive and realistic news from that region.
NRO: Why did you limit your travel to Kurdistan?
Totten: I couldn’t go south of Kurdistan without quite a large security detail. Nobody goes to Baghdad without bodyguards. I raised enough on the blog to cover all the expenses, plus a small profit, but if I’d have hired bodyguards it would have been a whole other story.
NRO: You don’t read a lot in the major newspapers about Kurdistan these days. Did a desire to tell that story factor in as well as security concerns?
Totten: : It was very much both. I have a pretty good idea what’s going on in Baghdad — at least the bad stuff. It does look like Baghdad is pretty much a bad place. But I know the whole country isn’t like that, and journalists tend not to go to the places that are quiet. If I were reporting for a wire service where I had to file every day, I would want to go to places where things are happening every day.
But since Kurdistan is quiet, there are going to be a lot of things happening there that can’t happen in those other places. Things that are positive and things that I didn’t know were happening until I got there.”