The first job of the journalist is to witness. That’s only the start, of course, once you’ve witnessed, you have to understand and communicate what you’ve seen. But without witness, without eyes and sources on the ground, there is no beginning.
Few journalists have witnessed and reported as many of the iconic stories of our time as our guest Roy Gutman. From the horrors of Banana imperialism in Central America in the 1970s, to the mass murders of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia, for which coverage Roy won a Pulitzer Prize, to contemporary conflicts like Ukraine, Iraq and Syria, places he has visited recently.
Which is what I want to talk with him about: the wars in Iraq and Syria and the role of American troops in them, enormous war crimes in the Syrian city of Aleppo and the American silence about them, and the implications of the so-called “Race to Raqqa,” the competition to be the team that actually knocks out the Islamic State…the U.S. and its allies or Russia and its ally, the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.
Roy Gutman is a freelance foreign correspondent, presently based in Istanbul, where he also works for the McClatchy news organization. Gutman’s dogged pursuit of evidence of genocidal mass murders in northern Bosnia in 1992 won the Pulitzer Prize.