The O'Reilly Guest Who Once Called America "A Brutal Occupier, Humiliating Iraqis"

A journalist named Nir Rosen appeared as a guest on tonight's edition of The O'Reilly Factor (Thu. May 11, 2006). He has a new book out called In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq. To write the book, Rosen "gained an impressive measure of access to both the Sunni and Shia resistance" and probably obtained "more sources in the insurgency than any other American reporter" (emphasis mine, sourced here). So O'Reilly began his interview with the obvious question:

"How did you do that? Very few people, journalists, particularly writers, have been able to get in there without getting their head cut off. How did you do it?"

Rosen responded (emphasis mine),

"Well, I wasn't the only one, but I did have the right friends. And, in the end in Iraq, that's what it came down to: Having the right friends, in the right tribe, for the right neighborhood to vouch for you."

"Right friends" appear to be the operative words here. As we reported back in this February 2006 NewsBusters post, Rosen penned a September 2005 piece for UPI called "Outside View: The Small, Daily Abu Ghraibs." In the article, he wrote,

"In Iraq, America is attacked because it is a brutal occupier, humiliating Iraqis, destroying villages, arresting, beating and killing countless innocent men, women and children.

"This is the main cause of the resistance."

Last November, The Weekly Standard's "Scrapbook" took notice of Rosen's article. Highlighting the "brutal occupier" rant and other eye-opening passages, the Standard concluded (emphasis mine),

"No wonder Rosen has such great access to the Baathists and jihadists who make up the Iraqi insurgency. He's on their side."

Hmmm. Is it any surprise that Rosen has written for the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Salon.com, and Harper's? And that NBC News has utilized his services?