This is a brief post with brief advice. I’m not even going to bother to add links to evidence of this statement of the obvious. It isn’t a comment on the individuals who have contacted me because, over the past year, I have been contacted by media organisations and freelance journalists in Europe and North America. And it certainly isn’t a comment on the reporters and others who have lost their lives while trying to document and reduce people’s suffering.
You, a white non-Arabic-speaking non-Muslim, do not want to sneak into Islamic State territory in Syria or Iraq and produce an exposé. You probably won’t make it in. You almost certainly won’t make it out. It is better for the outside world not to know about antiquities trafficking or cultural destruction than it is for you to die trying to tell them. And if you do die trying to tell them, they won’t know any more about the problem anyway, because you’ll be dead.