Asking for a Rescue

Seamus Conlan, a photographer at the Palestine Hotel, asked American troops to come to the rescue of journalists there. Click here for his account of that day.

I had been pleading with every American soldier I encountered in the chaos in the surrounding streets to come and protect the international media at the hotel. We figured it was the least they could do after killing three of us the day before. I was sure that today was going to be the day that we got killed by Saddam’s enraged and retreating militiamen . . . So I’d sounded desperate when talking to the U.S. soldiers down the road, pretending to joke around: “You guy have to get to the Palestine tonight before we are raped and shot, and I don’t know in which order.” A U.S. Marines officer assured me that every journalist in Baghdad was telling him the same thing. I asked if he was doing anything about it. “Yes sir, I have made a phone call every time,” he said.

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.