Way too quiet around here, so…

I took the blog offline recently, mostly because I just am not updating it of late. The whole reason I started the blog waybackwhen was so that when I got word that Michael was going to make a TV appearance I could let people know even if I wasn’t home and couldn’t post to the website. Well, now Twitter handles that just fine!

Unfortunately, the only way to take the blog offline without deleting it completely was to “hide” it, but that has just led to a lot of people asking to be let into the private clubhouse, which was certainly not what I wanted!

So I am going to reopen it with this caveat: the blog really isn’t in use anymore, and most of the stuff on here is old and may not be of any interest anymore. The website is the best place to find meatier fare, and subscribing to the Twitter feed (@MickWareDotCom) is the best way to get news fast — I only use it to announce new posts on the site and the occasional breaking news.

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Clips on Daily Beast TV

Michael just alerted me that he did some filming for Daily Beast TV. There are two clips posted, one on Al Qaeda/Afghanistan and the other on the Supreme Court debate on health insurance mandates. I’ll add both to the site when I get home.

Also, am working on a transcript of Michael’s talk in NYC last week. There should be video as well. Wish these things happened faster, but you know how it goes, the J-O-B gets in the way!

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Michael on Real Time with Bill Maher, October 28

Wow, it’s go time.

UPDATE: some Overtime screen grabs from Sharon:

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Michael speaking in Brisbane this Friday

Thanks to Sharon for the info: Michael will be speaking at the Amnesty International Australia Human Rights Conference in Brisbane, which runs from October 6-8. He will be part of a workshop on Friday morning. Here are the write-ups from their site:

MICHAEL WARE
Former correspondent for Time Magazine and CNN

Few people in the world understand the battlefields of the war on terror with greater intimacy than Michael Ware. As correspondent for TIME Magazine and CNN, Brisbane-born Ware spent years in Afghanistan and Iraq. His insights into the Iraqi perspective of the war, based on innumerable high-risk encounters with the insurgent foot-soldiers themselves, were closely followed by the more enlightened members of the US military officer corps. They directly influenced the shift to a population-based counter-insurgency approach from late 2006-on. Michael featured in an acclaimed episode of “Australian Story”. He is currently working on a feature length documentary entitled “Walking with Ghosts”.

And from the agenda:

11.00–12.00
Hugh Riminton
Channel TEN’s National political editor

Michael Ware
Former correspondent for Time Magazine and CNN

The Changing World: Reporting in Crisis Situations

In a Q&A style session, we will explore the journalistic challenges of reporting in crisis situations.

Full details at Amnesty International: Change the World

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New site design

Well, it’s been pretty quiet lately… so I redesigned the site! Let me know if you have any problems or come across any bad links.

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More Aussie media

Have posted a couple articles and some radio clips to the site. Michael did a big TV show there tonight, I hope to get that posted tomorrow (thanks again to Morpium for clipping the Tv shows for me.)

2011 News page

BTW, when you read the Courier-Mail piece and see him mention a tweet (or something someone Twittered, as he puts it) don’t get your hopes up, he isn’t following Twitter. I emailed him that comment, it was so laughable. Don’t worry, I send him the good stuff, too!

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More re OBL: Michael writes for Aussie newspaper(s)

Al-Qa’ida’s story is far from over following Osama bin Laden’s death

Michael Ware
From: Herald Sun
May 03, 2011 12:00AM

THEY couldn’t have done it better – the killing of Osama bin Laden.

In a daring, breathtaking and clinically lethal operation they cut him down right where he lived.

The raid makes the passing of a long, bloody decade of war since 9/11 – about 6000 US combat deaths and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.

In August last year US intelligence finally unearthed the lead they’d been so desperately seeking. It allowed them to track and hunt down the masterfully elusive al-Qaida leader in a plush Pakistani mansion.

From a base in war-torn Afghanistan, President Barack Obama unleashed a strike force of elite Navy Seals, teams most certainly filled with the kind of hardened warriors I’ve come to know in America’s wars.

At night the airborne assault choppered across Pakistan’s badlands.

The team landed in Abbottabad, 100km outside of the capital Islamabad, deep in to Pakistani soil. Neither the Pakistani Government nor its intelligence agencies – long known for their lines of communication with Islamic militant groups killing American, British and Australian troops – knew American boots were setting foot on their soil.

Storming into the luxury compound where bin Laden was hiding, the Seals gave him the chance to surrender.

When he refused, they blew him away with a shot to the head. And at last, the al-Qa’ida inspiration for the 9/11 attacks lay dead in a pool of his own blood.

President Obama and his agency chiefs could not have scripted it better.

But, then again, neither could have al-Qa’ida.

For hardline Islamic militants continuing the “holy war”, or jihad, bin Laden will be revered as a martyr.

He was not slain with the anonymity of a drone missile strike or, even worse, like Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein, captured in disgrace and paraded by America for all to see.

No. Osama went down in a blaze of defiant glory – or so jihard lore will go. Dying as he lived. Fighting the infidels of America to the bitter end. Eschewing surrender and choosing, on his own.

In death he may be as valuable a symbol to al-Qa’ida as he was in life.

I know this because, to some extent and far more than perhaps I would have liked, I know al-Qa’ida.

In Iraq in 2004 I was taken to one of their training camps. Months later I was kidnapped by frenzied al-Qa’ida fighters who readied me for execution beneath one of their banners. The man who was to sever my head was beside me, eager in anticipation. My execution to be filmed on my own camera.

Too many times I have seen into their eyes, witnessed their work, been taken inside their disciplined and brutishly effective organisation. So trust me, at an enormous price that I and my family have and to this day still pay, I know.

At their training camp in an Iraqi village their combat schools were invisible from the air or to an uninitiated eye. Mortar schools were conducted in one house. Sniper training in a barn. Infantry skills in a mosque. And so on.

Even Iraqi insurgents, who’d fought and killed in battles with well-trained American forces, feared them.

“These al-Qa’ida leaders,” said one top insurgent commander, “they don’t even trust their own clothes. You never know what they’re thinking. To be honest, they scare even me.”

An unpalatable reality we must prepare for is that an enduring legacy of Osama’s life may yet prove to be the manner of his death.

Make no mistake, his slaying is without a doubt a heavy symbolic body blow to the al-Qa’ida organisation. But when it comes to its ability to continue waging its campaign of attacks and terror that’s all it promises to be. Symbolic.

No one in the Pentagon or at the CIA’s Virginia headquarters expects it to be anything more.

For al-Qa’ida is an organisation built for loss. Its remarkable ability to regenerate is tested and well-proven.

It has lost foot soldiers, bomb makers, mid-ranking leaders and some of its highest strategic chiefs. Yet it has not laid down. And, in fact, it continues to evolve.

Its strength has never been in its numbers, but in its vision and its ideas.

It has “franchised” its particular brand of Islamic war.

In the wake of bin Laden’s death, I suspect al-Qa’ida’s story is far from over.

Michael Ware, is an Aussie-born former CNN and Time correspondent.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/al-qaidas-story-is-far-from-over-following-osama-bin-ladens-death/story-e6frf7lf-1226048727028

Here is a different version from AdelaideNow:

Icon of terror gone, but war remains

Michael Ware
From: The Advertiser
May 03, 2011 12:39AM

Thousands of pro-Taliban supporters rallied in support of Osama Bin Laden in Quetta, Pakistan less then a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Source: Getty Images

IN a daring and clinically lethal operation they cut Osama bin Laden down right where he lived.

The raid marks the passing of a long, bloody decade of war since 9/11.

It comes as the great price of treasure and blood – around 6000 US combat deaths and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths – continues to be paid.

Neither the Pakistani Government nor its intelligence agencies – long known for their ongoing lines of communication with Islamic militant groups – knew American boots were setting foot on their soil.

That alone is, at least publicly, a first since the wars began.

Storming in to the multi-layered luxury compound where Osama was hiding, the SEALs gave him the chance to surrender. When he refused, they blew him away with shots to the head. And at last, the al-Qaida inspiration for the 9/11 attacks lay dead in a pool of his own blood.

President Obama and his agency chiefs could not have scripted it better if they’d tried.

But, then again, neither could have al-Qaida.

For hardline Islamic militants continuing the holy war, or jihad, bin Laden inflamed, he will forever now be revered as a martyr.

It is a dark reality that his death will inevitably be a rallying point.

And in death he may be as valuable a symbol to al-Qaida as he was in life.

In Iraq in 2004 I was taken to one of their training camps.

Too many times I have seen into their eyes, witnessed their work, been taken inside their disciplined and brutishly effective organisation.

Bin Laden’s slaying is without a doubt a heavy symbolic body blow to the al-Qaida organisation.

But when it comes to its ability to continue waging its campaign of attacks and terror, that’s all it promises to be: symbolic.

The shockwaves reverberating from bin Laden’s death – those of unfettered jubilation in the US and those elsewhere in the world – go far beyond questions over the next generation of al-Qaida leadership.

*Michael Ware is the Australian-born former CNN correspondent in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was once taken hostage by al-Zarqawi’s thugs.

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