Lost Copy: The Endless Wars

John Martinkus

Australian Scholarly Publishing, $39.95

A note of understandable anguish runs through this confronting analysis of the media coverage of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our government’s attempts to manage the public’s perception of it.

The book opens with John Martinkus’ kidnapping in Iraq in 2004 when working for SBS. While his account of being abducted is enough to make one break out in a cold sweat, the attack launched on Martinkus afterwards by then foreign minister, Alexander Downer, and right-wing commentators in the Australian press leaves one ashamed that those who have no experience of the frontline should stoop so low.

This local response was, as Martinkus shows, part of the government’s attempt to justify Australia’s part in the invasion.

Throughout Lost Copy, Martinkus testifies to the hazards of speaking truth to power both in the Middle East and at home.

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