clap clap blog: we have moved

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Hello all--I'll get back to posting soon. But for now, I just wanted to mention that you should watch Nightline on ABC tomorrow (Thursday the 19th) at 11:35. Because I'm lazy-slash-busy, here's the description I e-mailed out to some of my fav politics blogs. Maggie's wedding (mentioned below) was the reason I was in England, as it happens.


The filmmaker is named Maggie Loescher. Her father is Gil Loescher and he...well, he did a lot of things, but broadly speaking, he was an expert on refugee and asylum issues. (Fairly good bio here.) He has taught at Notre Dame and is currently a doctoral advistor at Oxford, he's written various books on refugee issues, etc., etc.

In August 2003 he was in the UN building in Baghdad, in a meeting with Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN's special envoy to Iraq. While there, the building was, as you doubtless know, bombed. Everyone in the room died except for Gil, who after being caught by his legs in the rubble and hanging upside-down for two hours, was airlifted to an Army base in Germany and had his legs amputated below the knee.

Today he's made a remarkably recovery--when I saw him two weeks ago he was fully functional and, in addition to beginning a book on the subject of long-term refugee situations (!), he walked his daughter, Maggie, down the aisle at her wedding, which was...well, I don't really have good words for it, but it was very moving. He's written a story about it for the Notre Dame alumni mag.

The movie itself focuses partially on Gil himself but also on the issue of the bombing of the UN building itself and includes interviews Maggie conducted with many of the people involved, including Kofi Anaan if I'm recalling correctly. From what I understand, it's a remarkable documentary, and she told me that ABC said (although this may simply be hype) that this is the first time Nightline has ever just bought a documentary and shown it straight, although it will be edited for time constraints; Maggie is trying to get the full version shown at film festivals this fall. The Nightline version will run on August 19, which is the one-year anniversary of the bombing.

So anyway, I don't know if you're regular Nightline viewers or not, but this one might be worth checking out.