Anderson (in Waveland, Mississippi) interviews Peter Bergen (in DC), Aneesh Raman (in Baghdad) and Michael (in Brisbane) on the sectarian violence ripping through Iraq following the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Sumarra. Michael points out that Zarqawi outlined this exact plan to disrupt the democratic process in a letter to Osama bin Laden over a year ago, and that the only group to benefit from this violence is al-Qaeda.
Michael was one of the main contributors to this amazing episode of the PBS series. This is a compilation of clips covering his portions of the episode.
"The Insurgency" is produced and directed by Tom Roberts, and co-produced by Matt Haan, but a lot of this new report comes courtesy of the contacts and personal video journals of Michael Ware of Time magazine. He and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a photojournalist from Iraq whose access to insurgents is equally impressive, get very close to their subjects.
In one case, too close. There's a frightening piece of footage here, as part of the 2004 battle for internal control of the city of Tal'Afar, in which Ware comes face to face with a terrorist intent on killing him.
Ware is documenting, with his handheld video camera, proof of a Ba'athist claim that the insurgent forces of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi so brazenly controlled the town that their flags adorned its main boulevard. Ware sees one flag, then another, and films them. In the process, he films one of Zarqawi's men, who leaps from the curb, screams for the vehicle to stop, and heads right toward Ware and his camera.
The camera captures, in freeze-frame, the rebel soldier pulling the pin on his grenade, and walking forward with apparent murderous intent. Ware lives to tell the tale - but at the moment that image is frozen, it's hard to imagine how.