Operational assessment: the keynote speaker for the second day of the conference was the BBC veteran reporter Rageh Ommah, giving his views on journalists and their role as the writers of the "first draft of history".(Fire Conference 2006)

Echoing views expressed by many of those "in the know", he explained his view that the war on terror was here for at least a generation and the difficulties of a society unable to lift itself up following conflict would exacerbate the terror threat. Speaking about his own trade, he cited Al Jazeerah as a force for good in the world, bringing together such disparate parties as the Israelis and Palestinians for live televised debates, something that never happened in the past.

While acknowledging that there had been "so many mistakes" made in the recent past, he nevertheless felt that any contact between individuals in the west and deprived countries in the rest of the world would build bridges between nations. …

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