COMMENTS: Not In My Back Yard

The most dynamic news video of the day was filed by Richard Engel for NBC from Sadr City in Baghdad. For the last month, the USArmy has tried to build a concrete slab wall to divide the neighborhood in half. Talk about NIMBY! "Snipers seem to be in every building…on a good day the soldiers put up 100 slabs; when the fighting is heavy only eight." The worst job of all, Engel told us, comes after the crane has lowered a slab into place: some soldier has to expose himself to potshots by climbing a ladder to unhook the cables. "After a month of work and battles the wall is still only half way through."

A couple of other Iraq-related features were considerably gentler. NBC's Mike Taibbi filed an In Depth profile of Zachary Iscol, a Marine Corps lieutenant from Brooklyn, who fought red tape to win a visa for Abboud al-Hafaji, his interpreter in 2004 during the Battle of Fallujah. Iscol is now committed to locating and helping other former interpreters at risk for helping US forces. On ABC, John McKenzie (embargoed link) brought us the case of Ammar Muhammad, a five-year-old heart patient and the son of an Iraqi police lieutenant. The USMC unit working with his father raised the funds to fly the boy to Charleston SC for successful lifesaving surgery.


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