Steve Harrigan Answers YOUR Questions

Kabul...Baghdad...The Congo....FNC war correspondent Steve Harrigan agreed to answer a few viewer questions before venturing off on his next expedition.

1. While you are gathering information for a story in say, Afghanistan or Iraq, various people you come in contact with are trying to get you to "massage" the facts and present their side of the story. How do you determine whom you can trust to provide solid information? —  Randy Culver City, Calif.

Steve: The main thing — I trust what I see. There is no better way to get a feel and an understanding for a place than by being there.

2. What keeps you going? — Mia

Steve: My goal is to tell a story that is a punch in the stomach. If I do that, I get huge satisfaction.

3. As a war correspondent who has gone to politically volatile and explosive areas of the world, what, if any, similar characteristics have you discovered among these areas other than poverty? — Loisirene Independence, Ohio

Steve: Most of the war zones I've been to lack good roads and satellite television. My theory is that asphalt and cable could bring people a lot closer together.

4. In Iraq, how long do you think we have to get things up and running before the population boils over? — Aaron Columbus, Ohio

Steve: I don't think things are going to boil over.

5. What is life like for the people in "rural Iraq" now versus the Saddam days? — Andrea

Steve: Under Saddam, no one would talk to me as an American. After he was gone, the opposite was true. People were desperate to talk, to tell their story. I've never seen a bigger change in mood, in atmosphere, in an entire country happen so quickly.

6. What is your sense of how the Congolese regard the U.N. intervention? — Patrick New York, NY

Steve: I saw Congolese people scream with hope and joy when they saw French peacekeepers arrive. Their hopes may be too high.

7. Why do you refer to the war in the Congo as a world war? It is only one country and on one continent.

Steve: At least six countries have been involved in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with three million people killed. It is a world war.