There were a number of "landmarks" in Iraq in the past few months: the Petraeus report into the US army's "surge"; the withdrawal of British forces from their last base inside Basra city; the decision to bring security companies under the law following the incident involving guards from Blackwater.
But one landmark which passed virtually unnoticed was that the Iraq conflict has become the deadliest by far for the media trying to cover it, with more than 200 journalists killed to date. To put this in perspective, two were killed in the First World War, 68 in the Second, 77 in Vietnam and 36 in the Balkans. And the toll in Iraq shows no sign of declining. It is, if anything, rising. Five journalists were killed in separate attacks in just one day last month. "Covering Iraq," says Chris Cramer, the president of CNN International, " is the single most dangerous assignment in the history of journalism."