The Daily Nightly from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

Let's launch this Fokker!

It was proof of the operating assumption that Iraq will find a way to get you until you are clear of Iraqi airspace and safely out of the country. After a final day of reporting, we chose to start making our way to New York by making a stop in Amman, Jordan, before ending the week in New York tomorrow night.

So there we were sitting on squishy, vaguely sticky sofas in the dated, cavernous, sparse and dark confines of the main terminal at Baghdad International Airport. I was chatting with Gen. Wayne Downing, while I scrolled through some photos of the trip that cameraman Jeff Riggins had taken and downloaded onto his laptop. Suddenly there were five straight concussions. We all knew what they were -- rockets or mortars -- and we all know there's always the chance that they were controlled explosions. They were not. Cameraman Craig White and Producer Subrata De went to the window and saw the puffs of smoke rising from a patch of grass just off the taxiway in front of us. Amazed at the staying power of the insurgents (after all, these attacks are so common on or near the airport grounds -- three rockets landed there yesterday and we've been at this for four years), Riggins theorized that our outgoing flight would be delayed for hours. Au contraire.

No sooner had we watched the smoke fade, when we heard the boarding announcement. We got in line and were basically hustled out to the jet -- the very same Fokker jet named "Jessica" that we flew to Baghdad on. It was the same collection of people -- basically a flying bar scene from Star Wars. It was capped off by the sight of the airline security agent, sitting in the front row on the aisle, the butt of his handgun visible inside his blazer as he drifted briefly off to sleep after takeoff. As this posting should indicate, we are here in Amman where we will originate the broadcast before hopping on a seemingly endless series of flights and connections (but I bet no mortars) designed to have me in the chair in New York at this time tomorrow night.

I'm lucky to work with the best people in television, and I want to thank the superb, sharp and dangerous dismounted fire teams who literally protected my life this week when I was in some dangerous areas with the U.S. Army and Marines. I'm charging my iPod, BlackBerry and phone for a new lease on life (both the appliances and their owner) as we make the Atlantic crossing toward home. We have a great piece tonight on a little-known Saddam resort now being used by the U.S. Army -- and now it can be told: before leaving Baghdad, we conducted an exclusive interview with Gen. Dave Petraeus -- a portion of which we'll preview tonight -- but which will air in greater bulk tomorrow evening.

Please join us for tonight's broadcast from Amman. We'll see you tomorrow night from New York.

Read more from Brian Williams 2007, Brian Williams in Iraq

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COMMENTS

Both parties hurt the troops with their positions, below is the reality that should be the U.S. position:
1. We are not losing the war. We won the war 5 years ago! Then the IRAQ civil war started and they (with our help) are not doing too well! What happened is that we did not delineate between the 2 wars, but since one was against a nation (under Saddam) and this is under IRAQ sectarian factions- the distinction is clear.
2. Forget deadlines and foolish funding bills: Pass a bill that states that every dime we spent in IRAQ and we will spend in IRAQ is a LOAN to be paid back when they are able to do so. After all, if the President is correct IRAQ is going to do great and should owe us money spent for their freedom. Who in Congress can argue that they should not be paying for their freedom? Think anyone will want to vote against that bill?
3. The republicans are against deadlines (me too), but what is “ wait until September’s report” if not a deadline. No one seems to have noticed that.

Ok now I feel better


Glad to see you haome and safe. I keep wondering about information I pick up that we have done a lot of good things in Iraq and that there are towns and village that we have rebuilt, gave them schools etc.Is this true. Have we done any good at all there.

Hi Brian, we miss not seeing you on the nightly news - my 6 year old son keeps asking WHERE is Brian? With this administration there will never a lack of horror stories and scandals to report on - look forward to seeing you report on the AG scam when you come back home.

I really would like to know what the average foot soldier feels about fighting a lengthy war without a draft. I would think that they would be resentful at having to serve multiple tours when others are at no risk. I personally feel that both the media and politicians have been shamefully derelict in not having a discussion of the morality of an all volunteer army fighting an extended war. Why not ask the next group of combat troops you get to chat with.

Your header reminded me of the joke with the punchline "The two Fokkers were flying Messerschmidts!"

Brian Williams:

You sounded like you didn't do your homework for your iraq trip.

Here are some serious questions that beg for answers .. questions and answers that you didn't explore.

Where is al Sadr and why?

Why are some of the towns US troops have made somewhat safer almost deserted?

Where has the civilian population that was in those towns gone?

Is it possible that al-Sadr and his followers have concluded that they can take out the Sunnis after the Americans leave, so why waste time fighting Americans now?

Would this also explain why the Sunni civilians are really worried?

Joel

I completely agree with Jack. We must realize that this is only creating years, decades, and longer of hate and resentment toward we Americans around the Arab World. We had a choice back in March of '03 to change the course from saber rattling to diplomacy and we chose to fight. I am sickened by the attitude of a War of choice still being justified based on yet more false inteligence. If you are afraid "they" may come over here and fight then why be an American. Protect the Homeland first, not some little Arab country that doesn't care about us or our way of life. They have their own culture, language, customs, religions, and we have no right to play dictator, policemen or referees within their country.

I pray to the God of my understanding that he forgives us for tresspassing as we forgive those who tresspass against us. May we all answer to the same God!

Glad to see you're heading back home! And kudos to Lisa Myers' investigative report last night on the trailers still at Hope, Arkansas and the fact that they aren't being used to house people made homeless by the recent tornado at Dumas.

Watching the mews last night, Campbell Brown happen to mention to you about your departure on the runway.
You said with all the security a person can ride around a shot a rocket launcher at will. How safe is Baghdad? I am glad you will back in your seat on Monday. Rest Up

Mr. Williams, Thank you for the great reporting from Iraq these last few days. I am happy that you will be safe and sound in the New York studio on Friday. I am also glad nobody was hurt during those explosions at the airport. Richard's report on General Dave Petraeus and the troop surge reminds us of more of our soldiers being in harms way. In Mr. Taibbi's report it was hard to see such young men getting ready to leave their families. One only hopes that they will return safe and well to their families. When we ask ourselves why we are made to go through these difficult times, we don't often realize the what/where these events may bring us. Only God knows and will not let us fall. Please rest this weekend Mr. Williams and keep reminding Richard of the suberb job he is doing and to stay safe and well. I hope he can come back to visit with you in the New York studio again soon. Peace to all!

It's a shame, really, that the mortars and RPGs are almost as much a part of the "wallpaper" of Baghdad as are the sights of minarets and prayer rugs. I wish the day will come soon when, in those streets, and in those fields, the only reminder of these terrible, fearful days will be a plaque, and people will wonder how such a place, a beautiful, quiet, and progressive place, was the site of such sorrow. Will it ever happen?

I love watching you on the evening news and I know you have a wonderful sense of humor as is evidenced by the title of this post. Thank you for what you do to bring us the news, no matter how grim, and for giving us a little smile from time to time.

Brian Williams, Thank you Sir, for presenting such an objective and sincere portrayal of events on the ground. I was, along with many of my colleagues, heartened to see your candid interviews with our fellow soldiers. Hopefully having watched your reporting those who think the conflict is lost will understand that we still have a chance to secure a lasting victory for the Iraqi people.

Dear Brian Williams,

Thank you for your truthful reporting on the War in Iraq. NBC has been one of the few networks to focus on this critically important issue with in depth reporting.

It's time to face these facts head-on and to get out of Iraq now. Immediately. Plans need to be drawn up for redeployment now.
The Iraqis have coped with far more chaos from the occupation than they will without it, and, however painfully, they will find their way better when it is their way, not what the Bush administration says is their way.
I am grateful for our soldiers sacrifice however the American troops need to come home now.
Thank you for “reporting America’s story”.

MICHAEL ELLISON-LEWIS

Brian,
Remember to take the weekend off and dare I suggest sleep?
Safe travels all the way back to your NY chair

The Palestineans have been fighting their occupiers for 60 years. The Vietnamese fought the French, then the US, for something like 30 years. Anyone who thinks the Iraqis are going to stop fighting us anytime soon - and bow down to the Quisling government that has been installed under our watch - has no clue how powerful nationalism can be.

Bring all the US troops home and dismantle and remove all the "temporary" US bases we have built there to control the place. Then I might believe the Iraq government is "sovereign."

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