The world is a beautiful, tragic, nuanced and profoundly complicated place. As a journalist and writer for more than fifteen years, I have worked in countless countries in a bid to understand how wars and conflicts come to be, the players who pull the strings and those who are left to face the consequences and pick up the pieces of their broken lives.
Sadly, the media and political establishment too often do not stop to reflect upon how and why crises come to be and the crimes that have been committed. Narratives are rarely told by those on the ground – the ordinary who have been forced to become extraordinary – but through agendas, government figures and political landscapes. This distance and desensitizing only adds to the glossing of truths and alienates those of us who want to understand what is happening globally and what we can do to help those who need our hand the most.
Moreover, those responsible for mass atrocities are rarely held accountable for what they have done, and survivors still do not see enough justice for what was done to them.
Through “The World of War, Crimes + Crises,” I endeavor to play my small role in bringing all readers with me on a journey to understand the players and motivations behind global unrest, to unravel complex topics in a simple and meaningful way through the art of storytelling and narrative nonfiction, musings, original war and travel photography, and cultural appreciation without any hidden agendas of the need for diplomatic dancing.
I hope for this newsletter to be a community for others to share their stories and perspectives, and not only to shed light on the evil and war transgressions of the past and present – but also to illuminate the angels in the darkness. Those deep in the trenches selflessly supporting survivors, those who get through it all with grit and teach us what it means to be brave.
Someone once told me that people think what happens far away to other people doesn’t impact them. But if it happens there and not enough people are aware and driven to stop it, can’t it happen here too?
Read some of my select work over the years and media appearances here
And purchase my book “Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield”
Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. Never miss an update.
About Hollie McKay
Hollie McKay is a foreign policy expert, war crimes investigator and best-selling author of “Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield.” She was an investigative and international affairs/war journalist for Fox News Digital for over fourteen years, where she focused on warfare, terrorism, and crimes against humanity.
Hollie has worked on the frontlines of several major war zones and covered humanitarian and diplomatic crises in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and other areas.
Her globally-spanned coverage, in the form of thousands of print articles and essays, has included exclusive and detailed interviews with numerous captured terrorists, as well as high-ranking government, military, and intelligence officials and leaders from all sides.
She has spent considerable time embedded with US and foreign troops, conducted extensive interviews with survivors of torture, sex slavery and forced child jihadist training, refugees, and internally displaced people to communicate the complexities of such catastrophes and war crimes on local populations.
Hollie’s columns have additionally been featured in and referenced in innumerable mainstream publications and academic journals, and she has won numerous foreign press and humanitarian awards.
In addition, Hollie serves as a board member for EMERGENCY USA. This non-governmental organization endeavors to assist victims of conflict around the world. She is also the Outreach Director for Burnt Children Relief Foundation (BCRF) to bring severely bomb-burned Syrian children to the US for life-saving treatment.
What critics say
"A harrowing look inside war that explores the experiences and psychology of the perpetrators, innocents, victims, and heroes. This account is not written by some safe and distant theorist, but by someone who was actually there. Read it. Remember it."--Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL and multiple NYT best-selling author
"Hollie's experiences in the Middle East rival quite a few Iraqi war veterans. Her ability to talk with the Iraqi people and see inside their relationships with each other as well as the enemy is unbelievable. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the effect ISIS has had on an already war torn country."--Kris Tanto Paronto, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
"A fearless quest for human truth amidst inhumane atrocity. First-hand stories from both victims and perpetrators of the ISIS occupation of Iraq that you will never forget."--Neil Strauss, author, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
“Hollie McKay delivers a riveting and poignant account of war behind terrorist enemy lines, the personal stories of the victims and their profound legacy.”--Daniel Hoffman, former CIA Chief of Station
Hollie McKay, Foreign Affairs/War Reporter
You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.
Join the crew
Be part of a community of people who share your interests.
To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.