Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

A Private War


Marie Colvin was an American reporter who had been working for The Sunday Times in London for five or six years as a foreign correspondent covering various wars around the globe when she lost an eye to an RPG in Sri Lanka. That’s where our story begins, and we already know that she was to die from an IED during the siege of Homs in Syria, in 2001.

I could write pages and pages about that monster, Bashar al-Assad, the “democratically-elected” (with 99.7% of the vote!) president of Syria. About how his army dropped “barrel bombs,” 55-gallon drums filled with explosive and nails onto civilian targets, because they were cheap to build and could be rolled out of cheap helicopters instead of expensive bombers. About how … but I won’t. It is beyond doubt that she and her fellow journalists in the city were deliberately targeted by homing in on their satellite phones. You don’t believe me? Ask U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who three weeks ago (1/31/19) awarded Colvin’s family $302,500,000 in punitive damages. Good luck getting al-Assad to pay up.

Rosamund Pike does a terrific job of bringing Colvin to life, and Matthew Heineman, who previously was a documentary maker, for making it all seem real. Too real, actually, if you don’t have a lot of stomach for seeing eight-year-old children blown up, being treated by a veterinarian because all the doctors are dead. The father weeps, crying out “Why, God?” I will never understand that. How someone can retain any faith at all in his fucking god, whether it be Allah or Jehovah or any other phony deity. I would shout “Come out and fight, you motherfucker!”