Sunday, July 22, 2007

If it's Sunday, the New York Times is spinning

Beware the dumb asses, for they shall destroy the earth.

In today's New York Times, Paul von Zielbauer plays at journalism with "Web Sites Rally Support for G.I.'s in Legal Trouble." The whole basis of the 'report' is that people are coming to the aid of those being held (somewhat) accountable. While it's true that the charges for War Crimes (a term PvZ won't use) need to go a lot higher up, it's also true that in a civil society we do expect people to be held accountable for their crimes.

Jacqueline Bathca is either delusional or knows of some media that the rest of us haven't heard of. She claims, "From the magazines and newspapers that I read, it seems that many of them are too condeming of our own guys."

Making that (false) claim all the more laughable is the fact that PvZ writes of the most under-reported War Crime victim and (AGAIN!) refers to her as "a 14-year-old girl." Abeer remains unnamed in the pages of the New York Times to this day. She was unnamed during the Article 32 hearing last August (though the Times could advance the defense's case -- before it was presented -- before what their oft cited military expert would tell the Washington Post was a defense not known to military courts could be presented) and she's still unnamed today. Too condemning? They media, with few exceptions, have refused to run a photo of Abeer or say her name. She is a faceless, nameless victim.

In the intro to Batchca's laughable claim, PvZ (who did a lot of non-naming of Abeer in the past) writes that the Dumb Asses assert that the "mainstream news organizations" are depciting "the concerns of Iraqis more sympahtetically than the plight of American troops." You also read ridiculous claims of Christianity in the article. Apparently the First Commandment has been altered under the reign of the Bully Boy to now read: Thou shall commit murder.

More sympathetic? Abeer remains unnamed by the paper of record. Steven D. Green (the alleged ringleader -- Green denies all charges) isn't the subject of reports on news magazines, can you think for a moment of a 14-year-old girl being gang-raped and murdered in this country and three people confessing to their parts in it with the ringleader about to stand trial and the mainstream media staying away from the ringleader?

No, you can't. They'd have his former friends, former classmates, 'experts' and everyone else you can think of on TV around the clock.

You hear the claim that it's difficult to tell who your enemies are. If that claim is being applied to the grandfather dragged from his home in the middle of the night, bound, and shot dead (after a cover call was made) or if it's applying to breaking into a family's home, taking the parents and a 5-year-old sister into another room so that you can rape the 14-year-old daughter (Abeer), gang-rape her, then murder her, then try to destroy the evidence by setting her corpse on fire, then going back to base, grilling chicken breasts and getting drunk, the people in PvZ's article aren't just insane, they are criminally insane.

I'll exempt parents of accused from this but everyone else has no excuse. If you can tolerate the gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl by adult males who damn well know they'd all get the death penalty in most states back home, then you are beyond living in denial, you are sick and you are disgusting.

PvZ is damn well disgusting as well. The Times' alleged love of balance doesn't necessitate any experts on War Crimes being quoted or mentioned in the article. Apparently when you're part of a right wing mob whipped to a frenzy by the likes of Michael Savage nee Weiner, you don't need balance. You can tell your story and there's no need for anyone who might dissent to even be interviewed let alone quoted. Wait for the day that happens for the non-right wing. (But don't hold your breath, you'll pass out long before that day comes.)

Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Qais Mizher's "U.S. Attack Near Baghdad Reported to Kill at Least 15" tells you at least 60 people were killed in Iraq yesterday and that an air attack claimed multiple lives with the US military insisting all were 'insurgents' and the Iraqi Interior Ministry disagreeing and noting that some of the dead "were women and children." And though the attack took place in Baghdad, apparently no eye witnesses can be found -- must not have had any stringers in the area -- so it's yet another laughable example of how Iraqis are not treated sympathetically.

Strangely, while the Times of New York can't find any eye witnesses, Molly Hennesy-Fiske is able to ("Iraqis say civilians killed in airstrike," Los Angeles Times):

A U.S. missile attack Saturday on insurgents in a town north of the capital left six insurgents dead and five wounded, officials said.
But witnesses in Husseiniya, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, said U.S. helicopters attacked three houses in a four-hour period, killing at least 18 people, including women and children. They said about 21 people were wounded in the attacks, which leveled the buildings.
[. . .]
"It was a war and not a response to an attack targeting them. It was a war against civilians inside their houses," said Hazim Hussein, 30, a wholesale merchant whose house is about 160 yards from the targeted houses. Hussein said he found body parts of women and children in the rubble of the three houses. Neighbors as far as 55 yards away were injured by flying glass and shrapnel, he said. U.S. soldiers sealed roads near the site for hours, he said. Another witness, Trade Ministry official Ali Abid Fartusi, 36, said he saw seven or eight charred bodies, including those of children. He said residents in the mostly Shiite Muslim area had been attacked by Sunni insurgents in the east and U.S. forces in the west.
"We are between the hammer of the Sunni areas and the anvil of the American troops," Fartusi said. "We are living under miserable circumstances."
An official with the political organization of anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr said 17 people had been killed in the attack, including three children.

You can also read Tina Susman's article on the American-Iraqi who returned to be an excutioner. No quote, I find the story disgusting. (I'm speaking of the story told, I'm not speaking of the writing of it. It is news and it's getting a link for that reason.)

The UK Ministry of Defence announced yesterday: "It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a British soldier from from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who was attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment today, Saturday 21 July 2007." This brought the total number of British soldiers killed in the illegal war to 163.

Hannah Allam and Jenan Hussein's "U.S. choppers kill ... who? Enemy or innocents?" (McClatchy Newspapers) also demonstrates that some news organizations are able to speak to Iraqis about the air attack:

"Lies, lies, lies," sputtered Salam al Rubaiye, 35, a computer technician who lives in Husseiniya and works in Sadr City. "The Americans always try to change the truth, especially when it concerns the Sadrists," the collective name for followers of the Mahdi Army commander, cleric Muqtada al Sadr.
Rubaiye visited the scene of the air strike twice Saturday. He first showed up early in the morning when, he said, volunteers were still digging the corpses of women and children from the rubble. Later, he brought a camera and snapped 14 photos. They showed several piles of cinderblock where homes once stood. The interior of a severely damaged home showed only the detritus of family life: a potted plant, a wall hanging, a refrigerator, an electrical generator. "For Sale" was written in Arabic on the only surviving wall of one home.
Rubaiye also e-mailed two short cell-phone video clips that showed at least seven bodies swathed in blankets, some with grayish feet sticking out at the ends. Two of the bundles were tiny, as if they shrouded young children.
Residents said they'd finished retrieving the dead by 8 a.m., and that two young girls were still missing.
"I took out with my own hands the bodies of two young children, two men, two adult women and four little girls," said Bassem al Musawi, 30, who lives in the neighborhood. "I don't know why the Americans bombed these homes. I know one was the house of Abu Mustafa. He's a very poor man with only one boy and the rest of his family are girls. And he didn't even have a rifle."

New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: Stop the Current Illegal War before the next one begins
TV: Losers & Fools
Standing with the war resisters
Iraq War Helper
Iraq reporting MSM style
Sweet Nepotism
New York Times enlists in the clampdown

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