Why War Is Hell
Michael Ware spent seven harrowing years covering the Iraq War – and he has the scars to prove it
By Reeves Wiedeman
March 25, 2016
By 2009, however, another IED attack debilitated Ware's senses of smell and taste – "I get too salty, too sweet, and that's about it" – and he soon realized he had to get out. He moved to Brooklyn, but found himself unable to walk to the corner store, much less work on the book he had a contract to write. He took assignments from CNN that sent him back to conflict zones. Eventually, he went on leave from CNN, citing post-traumatic stress disorder, and never went back. "That's when I started watching the tapes," Ware says.
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Only the Dead See the End of War
His footage captures the violence, fear and confusion that defined the Iraq War, as well as his self-described “darkest moment” of the war, which haunted him long after he left the country.Directed by two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag in collaboration with Australian journalist Michael Ware, Only the Dead See the End of War examines the Iraq War and its moral consequences through the story of the rise and fall of jihadi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the progenitor of ISIS. A harrowing and graphic account from both sides of the war zone, as well as an illuminating window into the origins of a modern terrorist organization, the film is told through visceral hand-held video footage culled from hundreds of hours that Ware shot while reporting over the course of the war. This unique, on-the-ground view is combined with eye-opening narration for a frank, unsparing look at the Iraq War unlike any before.
Arriving in Baghdad in 2003 as a novice reporter, Michael Ware was initially on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops, as well as a myriad of demons -- the after-effects of witnessing seemingly endless, horrific violence.
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Only The Dead