AP Baghdad reporter to talk on 'Covering Iraq, 2003-2006' in appearance at FHSU

Associated Press correspondent-at-large Robert Reid, touring in the United States after three years in and out of Baghdad, Iraq, will speak about the war and life in Iraq at a presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in Fort Hays State University's Felten-Start Theatre In Malloy Hall.

"Covering Iraq, 2003-2006" is free and open to the public. Reid will take questions from the audience after his presentation.

"I begin with a vignette about returning to Iraq in October '05, being told that things were quiet," said Reid in an e-mail from Amman, Jordan, where he is now stationed.

"Three hours later, al-Qaida attacked our hotel with three car bombs," Reid continued. "Iraq can fool you."

Reid was in Iraq at the beginning of the war in 2003 and in the first part of 2004.

"Back then, Westerners could travel pretty freely around the country," said Reid. "That changed when the religious extremists began kidnapping and murdering Westerners in 2004. Contrast that with the situation today when journalists -- and many Iraqi and U.S. officials -- are living behind armed guards and blast walls under siege conditions."

He has been to Iraq about 15 times since November 1982, and has first-hand experience with life in Saddam's Iraq and post-Saddam Iraq. In his presentation, he said, "I try to point out the differences, what things are better and what things are worse."

Reid's Baghdad assignment also included serving as one of three rotating chiefs of AP's Baghdad bureau. Reid has been correspondent-at-large for the Associated Press since June 2005, helping to direct coverage of major military, political and diplomatic events outside the United States.

He joined the AP in 1969 in Charlotte, N.C., taking military leave in 1970. He was an officer in the U.S. Army for three and a half years. He returned to the AP in Charlotte in 1973 and transferred to the international desk three years later. He received his first foreign posting in Bonn, Germany, in 1977.

Since then, Reid's major postings have included chief of bureau in Cairo, Egypt, from 1982-1985; roving Middle East correspondent from 1985-1986; chief of bureau in Manila, Philippines, from 1986-1995; chief correspondent at the United Nations from
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1995-1998; chief of bureau in Vienna, Austria, from 1998-2001; and European news editor based in Brussels, Belgium, in 2001. In 2001, he ran the news desk in Islamabad, Pakistan, covering the U.S. war with Afghanistan's Taliban.

Reid has covered such major events as the Iranian revolution of 1978-79, the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the birth of the Polish labor movement Solidarity, the Lebanese civil war of the 1980s, the Iran-Iraq war, war in the Balkans (he was in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, the night American forces began bombing in 1999) and the current war in Iraq. He was in Tripoli, Libya, when the U.S. bombed that city in 1986. He has also covered the funeral of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and no less than six coup attempts in the Philippines.

In 2005, Reid won AP's Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award for staff excellence for his work at the forefront of editing and reporting on some of the biggest international conflict stories.

A native of Asheville, N.C., Reid graduated from Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.

His presentation is sponsored by The Associated Press, Fort Hays State University, The Hays Daily News, FHSU's American Democracy Project and the Docking Institute for Public Affairs.

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