The Western media's
financial downfall has been felt sharply in Baghdad, where the number
of American reporters has dropped significantly over the past year and
bureaus are laying off Iraqi staff.
The word has gotten around. I recently met with a leader of one of the Awakening, or "Sahwa," militias, the Sunni tribesmen who fought Al Qaeda and allied with U.S. forces. Abu Azzam lives in the Green Zone's Rasheed hotel now. He was a businessman in the United Arab Emirates before returning to Iraq to lead forces in the Abu Ghraib area and apparently still follows the markets. When I handed him my Newsweek business card he asked in Arabic, "Has this newspaper gone bankrupt yet?"