Ware was the only reporter embedded with the U.S. military during the September 2005 Tal Afar assault. His video of that attack has been in a documentary on Frontline and on 60 Minutes.
Ware got into a bit of trouble when CNN aired some footage he acquired of snipers targeting the U.S. military. People believed Ware was with the insurgents and stood by while they killed Americans. It got to the point where some members of Congress wanted all CNN reporters banned from Iraq. It was later proven that Ware was not with the insurgents in the video, but merely provided narration for it.
Only two days after Ware's interview with Anderson Cooper detailing the four distinct wars being waged in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave a Department of Defense briefing also describing the Iraq War as 4 simultaneous wars.
One of Ware's translators in Iraq was stalked by al Qaeda until eventually, they had him trapped in his car. The translator refused to give any information to them, and was blown up. Barely surviving, he was flown to an area hospital and surgeons saved his arm. The translator now lives in Australia, having been granted refugee status. Ware said that almost every news agency in Iraq has similar stories.
One of Michael Ware's contacts who connected him to leaders in the insurgency, had been caught and tortured after one of those insurgency leaders had been killed by U.S. forces. Eight days later, after Ware was vouched for and checked out, the contact was released and crawled back to Ware's office with a message from the insurgents, we're watching you.
Michael Ware was almost executed by Al Qaeda fighters while reporting in Iraq.
(Ware when asked what he thinks his chances for survival are in Iraq)
Ware: I try not to think about that, Bill, and I try to stay as drunk for as long as possible while I'm here so I don't dwell on that...In fact, I'm drinking now.
(Ware stating what the U.S. military is saying about Iran)
Ware: Essentially they paint the picture of an Iranian campaign where the Iranians are using the very tactics that America used against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, essentially using proxies to fight a war in a third country. That's what the military intelligence community is saying today.
(Ware talking about the Iraqi population)
Ware: Where once you could rely on the general population to at least watch your back, to alert you to what danger may be around you, you can no longer, be it out fear and intimidation or a dwindling in sympathy or empathy for us and our position.
(Ware on the difficulty of reporting in Iraq)
Ware: You can do it in very limited circumstances. Essentially you need to get the permission of whichever militia or organization is in control of an area. We send out Iraqis, but honestly, they're being killed in the droves. They're really on the journalistic front line. The number of Iraqi journalists who have died in the past year is staggering.
(Ware on Iraq)
Ware: You live with lurking worries about kidnap, mortars, car bombs, the safety of your staff, and how your presence in the midst of this hideous war must eat away at your family. Like a persistent white noise you tune out as much of it as you can, but every now and then it breaks into your daily transmission.
(Ware on Senator Joe Lieberman in Iraq)
Ware: I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting.
Ware: The loss of American lives becomes a one paragraph brief in the world section. It takes carnage of cataclysmic proportions to break into the news cycle. We've become immune or numbed to the body count. We have come to accept the horror from Iraq as normal. Our measures of success have been deeply skewed by the reality of the situation.
(Ware on critics who say good news is not reported from Iraq)
Ware: I want those who say we aren't reporting the good news to come and live one day in Iraq as an Iraqi and I challenge them to repeat those opinions. It's easy to opine from an ivory tower when you're safe at home. It's much harder to do so when you're on the ground.
Ware: It would be dishonest and disingenuous to put a positive spin on Iraq. People have to queue for three hours just to fill their gas tanks. They only have a few hours of electricity a day. They're too scared to send their children to the schools that have been painted by American troops because they're afraid they'll be killed. The successes are swamped by the gruesome reality of life in Iraq.
(Ware talking about one of his insurgency contacts)
Ware: I had known this emir since the first months of the invasion in 2003. He'd sat at home, disenfranchised and dishonoured. It wasn't long before he turned to small, ad hoc attacks on passing convoys. As the insurgency lurched forward becoming ever more organised, sophisticated and adept, he moved up the chain. Having known him from the beginning, I moved up with him.
(Ware on whether there is an Iraqi civil war)
Ware: Well, firstly, let me say, perhaps it's easier to deny that this is a civil war, when essentially you live in the most heavily fortified place in the country within the Green Zone, which is true of both the prime minister, the national security adviser for Iraq and, of course, the top U.S. military commanders. However, for the people living on the streets, for Iraqis in their homes, if this is not civil war, or a form of it, then they do not want to see what one really looks like.
(Ware talking about how he reacted after almost being executed by Al Qaeda
Ware: Whew. It took a long time before it actually dawned on me. I spent many of the following days in my room. I found it very difficult to leave the safety and comfort of my bedroom. It took some time for me to regather myself and to return to the streets. But, in fact, just days later, I did return to this very place.