ABC News Correspondent Chris Cuomo (Mario's son) apparently has a new appreciation for the hazards faced by our troops in Iraq. Mr. Cuomo is currently on assignment in that country, and yesterday, he narrowly escaped injury from a roadside bomb that went off near his vehicle. Cuomo was on patrol with U.S. soldiers at the time of the attack, as he recounted for the New York Post:
"Until this I didn't really appreciate the daily routine of violence that these soldiers face...As a news anchor, "I tell you a story every morning about how many people died in Iraq in this or that bombing, but the appreciation of the constancy and the consistency of what they face is really daunting. I didn't appreciate it until I went out [on patrol] with these guys, and saw how they responded to something so harrowing, so horrific."
According to Cuomo, the bomb was apparently placed in dead bodies left along the roadside--a tactic frequently used by terrorists in Iraq. In fact, the terrorists have planted bombs in almost anything they can get their hands on, including toys and even piles of garbage. The enemy's relentless search for new ways to hide explosives makes our "find and clear" rate for IEDs (40%) that much more impressive.
We're glad that Mr. Cuomo is okay, and didn't suffer the same fate as his ABC colleague Bob Woodruff (who was badly wounded by a bomb in Iraq in January 2006), and CBS's Kimberly Dozier who was also injured by a terrorist bomb last year. Two members of Ms. Dozier's crew died in that attack, a reminder of the hazards faced by journalists who actually cover the war from outside the Green Zone.
Welcome to Iraq, Mr. Cuomo. As for your comments to the Post, I'm not sure if they reflect a certain naivete, a bit of ignorace, or both. It's hard to believe that a network journalist who reads stories about Iraq five mornings a week and (presumably) watches reports from his colleagues in that country wouldn't have a better appreciation of what our troops must endure. Perhaps this near-miss experience will make him realize that those young men (and women) on that patrol are the best our country has to offer; they deserve our fullest support--not the parsing and sniping of the chattering class.
In a few days, Chris Cuomo will complete his assignment in Iraq and return to the anchor desk in New York. Those brave young Americans will still be walking the line in Baghdad, Al-Anbar and a hundred other dangerous places in Iraq, conducting missions and patrols that will never make Good Morning America or the evening news. As always, keep them in your prayers.