Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett -- reporting from Baghdad for NBC
News, MSNBC and National Geographic Explorer -- said
he gets almost 'perverse pleasure' being in the Iraqi capital covering the
second Gulf War while CNN, his former employer, is on the sidelines.
'CNN is not represented here and the story they are most associated with,'
said Arnett, who CNN dropped about four years ago.
Arnett credited his seasoning as a war correspondent --
which goes back to the Vietnam War -- for finessing Iraqi officials to remain and
work in Baghdad.
'This is as much a mind game as anything,' he said. 'Getting along with Iraqi
officials requires skills.'
CNN, he contended, forgot those skills, and that led to the network's
expulsion late last week.
As for the war, Arnett expects that the worst is yet to come.
'This time, the battle is coming to Baghdad,' Arnett said in a conference
call with reporters Tuesday from his hotel room in the Iraqi capital.
In spite of the dangers, Arnett said he and his three-person team are in
Baghdad to stay.
Arnett has been reporting frequently on NBC and MSNBC, particularly since NBC
pulled its crew out of Baghdad.
MSNBC airs Explorer, which
started the relationship.