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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Journalist Sebastian Junger Reflects On Colleague’s Death, His Own Close Call

Directors and journalists Sebastian Junger, left, and Tim Hetherington are shown at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, during the filming of their documentary  "Restrepo". Hetherington was recently killed while reporting from Libya. (AP/Outpost Films/Tim Hetherington)

Directors and journalists Sebastian Junger, left, and Tim Hetherington are shown at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, during the filming of their documentary "Restrepo". Hetherington was recently killed while reporting from Libya. (AP/Outpost Films/Tim Hetherington)

Journalist Sebastian Junger was supposed to be in Libya, covering the conflict there with photojournalist Tim Hetherington last month. A personal matter kept him home, and Hetherington and another photographer, Chris Hondros, were killed in a battle in Misrata.

Junger joins us to reflect on his friend’s death and the work they did together, which resulted in his book, “War,” and their Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo.”

The film focuses on a platoon of U.S. soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan.


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  • Tiziana

     They are heros to me! Journalists and photographers covering war risk their lives every day. May Tim rest in peace and know he is not forgotten but he is deeply appreciated and loved. And Sebastian, you did enough, now it is time to be with your family in safety for you and for them. Thank you. I have a copy of Restrepo which I cherish. I lived the war with you through your film and the book.

  • Nimiipuu

    25 years ago I was 25 miles east of the Korangal Valley, in northeastern Pakistan. While watching Restreppo I was taken right back to my experiences in that exact part of the south Asia. 25 years ago the Taliban were as vicious then as they are now, but the villagers who lived in these areas had no affiliation with the Taliban. The U.S. and Taliban have fought a very different war than occurred with the Soviets, and that has changed the calculus in northeast Afghanistan/northwest Pakistan. When the Americans are gone, the calculs will change again, and the Taliban will become as irrelevant to these villagers as Islamabad and Kabul are,

    In Restreppo the film makes it clear that the only real allegiance the U.S. soldiers had was to their buddies. The people they were fighting had allegiances to past generations, whole communities, and future generations. With that kind of assymetry, the U.S. soldiers had no chance and no real purpose except to survive and damage things. Sadly, that defines too many U.S. conflicts over the past 120 years –and the nightmare legacies that haunt us all.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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