Mort Report is a labor of love by old-style correspondents with lifetimes on the road and young ones with fresh eyes. Our philosophy is simple: we report at first hand with analysis based on non-alternative fact, not opinion. If we get something wrong, we fix it.
PARIS - Wasting $100 million to send more U.S. troops to the Mexican border than are now in Afghanistan is plainly a cynical campaign stunt. Less obvious is what it shows about where Donald Trump's hollow heart is leading America and the world beyond.
That piteous march, hardly an “invasion”, will stop at a secure fence. But writ large, it reflects 68 million people on the move. If global leaders ignore the reasons why, their numbers will soar. And as more desperate fathers see children sicken and starve, expect the worst.
This last week sharply defined the real Donald Trump: a deceitful manipulator who exploits the gullible. Unless a new Congress can curb him, he has two more years, maybe six, to unmake America and encourage despots who follow his worst instincts.
Like all nations, the United States must control who crosses its borders with case-by-case screening. But a rich democracy built by immigrants fleeing famine or fear needs to set an example by doing that with human empathy.
Trump just told troops that if someone throws a rock they should “consider it a rifle” and shoot. Nigerian authorities echoed that message to police in the capital, Abuja, who Amnesty International reports then shot dead 45 protesters.
U.S. law says firing needlessly on unarmed people is murder. Yet it appeals to a frightening new mood in America.
BAYEUX, France - An email from Florida landed in this noble Normandy town with less impact than a Nazi shell, yet it was an eerie reminder of how hubris and folly filled so many graves on the beaches nearby. The menace today is America über alles.
Last week, I assembled hard data for a Mort Report Extra on dangers posed by Donald Trump and his enablers. One response, dismissing fact as “liberal-leftist rant,” made plain what the world is up against — and why Bayeux is again on the frontline.
“We can agree to disagree,” the email said, “and you can live in whatever fantasy world you think is best. IF YOU don't like it here, then move to Finland, or the socialist utopia of your dreams.” Sure. We'll leave America to greedheads, useful idiots and flat-out morons like him.
I'd have junked that note, like so many similar ones we all see, but for the reason I'm here. As every year for the past 25, journalists from around the world gathered at the weekend for the Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Awards. We honored our own, mourned our fallen, and during long, lubricated, music-blasting nights we avoided shop talk about workaday mayhem.
Some of the gang are fresh out of the box, with new skills and high energy. Others have been at it for half a century. Patrick Chauvel, son of a grand French photographer, just covered his 44th war alongside his 18-year-old son, Antoine, in Iraq.
They are a disparate bunch, but one hard fact defines them. Men and women who wade into risk, spending miserable months staying close to their story, do not lie about what they see.
Photo: Mahmud Hams, AFP, Prix Bayeux-Calvados