Robert Galbraith: Dispatches from the front

A glowing – and well-deserved tribute to Robert Galbraith by Beryl Wajsman (see excerpts below), who has just left for Afghanistan, appeared in The Suburban on 3 October. We wish Robert Godspeed and a safe return, look forward to his promised reports and will miss him greatly at Wednesday Nights. We are amused that in his usual spirit of “mixing it up”, he arrives in Afghanistan at the moment when the Liberal critic and the two Ministers have landed there on their separate (and surely not equal) missions.
October 06, 2007
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The competing Conservative and Liberal visions about what Canada should be doing to help bring peace to Afghanistan found an unexpected new stage when Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier arrived at the Canadian base here late Saturday — hours before the expected arrival of Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre. more

By Beryl Wajsman, Editor, The Suburban
Montrealer Robert J. Galbraith is one of the leading war photojournalists of this generation. Galbraith’s career in journalism spans 20 years. He has written and/or photographed for numerous publications in North America and Europe including The New York Times. His reputation reached new heights when he published Iraq: Eyewitness to War — A Photojournalist’s Diary.
Galbraith refused to be an embedded reporter with the American forces and he did not want to sit through orchestrated press conferences at the press centre. He wanted total freedom to cover the war. At great personal peril, he managed to cover the war in a way that has rarely been seen.
Unlike many in the media, despite the human toll and tragedy he documented, his is a compelling and authentic voice on the importance of a heightened Canadian military and diplomatic engagement in democratic development and nation-building worldwide.
Iraq was not his first tour in a war zone. That came in Israel during the scud missle attacks. Then Galbraith covered the rest of the first Gulf War. He returned to Iraq to cover the current war and then he went to Afghanistan in 2005. He has been in the process of planning a new mission to Afghanistan for the better part of the year. Robert feels it is vital to record the critical role Canadian troops are playing in the Kandahar operation. There are untold stories of heroism and valour amidst the service and sacrifice that have literally saved the allied mission. Robert means to tell those stories. He left yesterday for his latest rendezvous with destiny.
We at The Suburban [and at Wednesday Night] are honoured that many of the freelance reports and photos that Robert will be filing will be published in our pages.
… In our talks over the past few weeks I asked what motivated him to pursue this latest adventure. Hadn’t he proven his courage? Hadn’t he done enough to raise conscience and consciousness? His answer was poignant and instructive for us all.
“We should always be willing and fearless to challenge the darkness,” he said.
“Whatever that darkness is. Be it subjugation of another people or the ghosts in our own closets. You are never more alive as when you challenge your worst fears. This is why I am a war photojournalist, and will ever continue to be.”

One Comment on "Robert Galbraith: Dispatches from the front"

  1. david kilgour October 7, 2007 at 11:01 am · Reply

    Good on your Editor. Robert Galbraith is a first rate photojournalist anywhere and in every language.

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