On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin
Veteran Sunday Times war correspondent, Marie Colvin was killed in February 2012 when covering the uprising in Syria. Winner of the Orwell Special Prize ‘On the Front Line’ is a collection of her finest work, a portion of the proceeds from which will go to the Marie Colvin Memorial Fund…
Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work was deeply admired. On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi; reports from East Timor in 1999 where she shamed the UN into protecting its refugees; accounts of her terrifying escape from the Russian army in Chechnya; and reports from the strongholds of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers where she was hit by shrapnel, leaving her blind in one eye.
Typically, however, her new eye-patch only reinforced Colvin’s sense of humour and selfless conviction. She returned quickly to the front line, reporting on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and, lately, the Arab Spring.
Immediate and compelling, On the Front Line is a street-view of the historic events that have shaped the last 25 years, from an award-winning foreign correspondent and the outstanding journalist of her generation.
farming village just outside the Shi’ite southern Iraqi city of Hilla. Even the weeds have not grown back. Up to 15,000 men, women and children are believed to have been shot and buried here when Saddam unleashed the elite Republican Guard on his rebellious people in 1991, just days after he promised the United Nations that he would ‘end all military action’. He had lost his war in Kuwait; he would win this one. An estimated 100,000 Shi’ites and Kurds died as the Republican Guard tanks rolled
struggle between Rafsanjani and Khamenei. Rafsanjani’s antagonism towards Ahmadinejad was inflamed when the president accused his two sons of corruption during a national television debate. He funded Mousavi’s campaign from behind the scenes. The support of Rafsanjani, whose reputation is of a wily, shrewd diplomat, for Mousavi comes from a shared view of Iran’s future. Both believe that the days of Iran’s unforgiving revolution are over and that the regime should relax the strict Islamic rules
forgiven his son-in-law. ‘Come during the feast,’ he said. ‘The family will be together.’ He implored him to bring all his relatives back with him. A written amnesty followed from the Iraqi leadership council. Kamel made his decision abruptly. ‘We are going home,’ he announced to a family gathering. Ragda and Rana, suddenly frightened, began crying. At the last moment, Ragda telephoned her mother, seeking reassurance. But the phone was answered by Uday, who, in his latest outrage, had shot an
patrol said he had killed a Serb, but nothing is sure here. The watch came in for breakfast and a soldier passed round packets of cigarettes, bread and tins of sardines. This unit travels light. We overheard the Serbs on the radio asking to go back to their bunkers. Every night has been like this for the past two months for this unit on the front line of the KLA offensive. The last weeks have been the worst. The Serbs have not attacked on foot; they have just shelled. Their tanks and artillery
must be a ceasefire before any peace negotiations can resume. The Israeli leader has refused to listen to western diplomats, who believe no ceasefire can be brokered unless Arafat can offer his people political gains. Arafat, despite the criticism, was heartened by the Bush speech. ‘He told me that he understood Bush is under heavy pressure,’ said a senior adviser trapped in the compound. ‘Contrary to news reports, Arafat thought the Bush speech was very positive.’ He said Arafat had focused