Saturday, February 12, 2011

Xenophobia and EZ coverage

The men who were gathered in Tahrir Square - the Baghdad version, not the Cairo one - were young and old, employed and jobless, Sunni and Shiite. But they spoke with one voice as they chanted: "No, no to corruption," "The government are thieves" and "Baghdad, Baghdad, spark a revolution."

The above is from Liz Sly's "Egyptian revolution sparks protest movement in democratic Iraq" (Washington Post) and it's a problem. It's a cute little narrative, it's just incorrect. The Egyptian people revolted against their own corrupt government. That didn't happen because of the US but this need to be 'we' -- but from a safe distance, of course -- had so many crediting this or that or whatever. Egyptians didn't need WikiLeaks to inform them that they had a corrupt government. They were not unintelligent idiots whom WikiLeaks finally 'educated.' That's an offensive viewpoint that robs them of not only their agency but also their intelligence. It works as a narrative because the news media in the US loves to stroke us and make us the center of the damn world, where nothing can ever happen without our input, assistance and help.

What happened in Egypt had been building for years and is the credit and/or blame -- and will be the credit and/or blame -- of the Egyptian people. Should the whole thing turn into a nightmare tomorrow (a possibility), watch the same outlets rush to remove the US from the narrative. But while it appears successful, we're not supposed to notice that while failure is a bastard, success has many fathers. Or at least men wanting to step claim credit for the work of others.

The circus could have gone and we would have ignored it as we have. But now they want to drag Iraq in?

Stop your damn lying ass. I'm not in the damn mood.

Protest after protest in Iraq -- NOT COVERED BY THE U.S. OUTLETS WHICH COULDN'T BE BOTHERED WITH IRAQ -- THE WASHINGTON POST, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS IGNORED IRAQ ALL DAMN WEEK -- has had spokespeople who have specifically and repeatedly stated that they were not copying Egypt. Now southern Iraq has had protests this month and last, southern Iraq has also had protests last year. The Iraqi people are not the Egyptian people. They live under a different system (an occupation, in fact) and the reason we need to reject the nonsense the Washington Post has run is not just because it's xenophobic and attempts to put the US in the primary position when all the US did was grab some fold out chairs and watch the action from the cheap seats. [Before anyone at WP calls me -- and I know at least one will -- when you make a claim that Iraqis have repeatedly denied, that's xenophobia. When they are speaking of their own motivations and you chose to ignore them and impose your own narrative upon them, that's xenophobia.] It's also because Iraqis don't need to be insulted. And it's a short step from falsely claiming that they're copying Egypt to arriving at "Witness: Unlike Iraq, Egyptians do regime change their way."

That offensive crap comes from Reuters and their correspondent Samia Nakhoul. Egyptians do it their way, unlike Iraqis?

Iraqi didn't get to "do" regime change, it was forced on them, you stupid, stupid idiot. Lefty 'leaders' are still whining about Bill Keller's report on Little Julie Assange and that's so typical of the f**k backwards idiots that make up the 'leadership' of the left. Little Julie, one man, becomes the thing to defend. Watch and wait for anyone to defend Iraqis. A whole group of people are being slandered -- people already under physical attack -- but don't expect our 'brave' 'leaders' to step forward with the two weeks of whining they have offered for Little Julie.

When we self-stroke and make ourselves the center of the world, we don't just inject ourselves into a story and demand the close ups (even though we're nothing but bit players), we also push the real participants out of camera range.

And because a narrative always has to be embellished, it's only a matter of time before "How Great We Are" (chest thumping cheers of "USA! USA!") becomes "And Look At How Lousy They Are." Which is the short path from the Washington Post article over to the Reuters one.

Good heavens, the Iraqi people live under occupation. Their country has been destroyed. It has been polluted with weapons that most people won't even take the time to imagine. The youthful population will suffer massive birth defects for many years to come. Currently, the puppet government installed by the US still cannot deliver basic services -- services they had before 2003. Nouri's daughters live very, very well. And outside of Iraq.

Iraq's daughters and sons starve and beg on the streets. The widows of Iraq make do however they can.

So Reuters can go f**k itself before it again attempts to mount a high horse about how wonderful Egyptians are and how lazy and unsuccessful the Iraqis are.

Iraqis have yet, all these years after the war began, been able to pick their own government. If they had, it wouldn't be Nouri now. They made that clear in their voting.

The only real lesson regarding Iraq that Egypt has demonstrated is that when the US media can pull out the lawn chairs and root from the sidelines, when they can harken back to the old days of the gladiator stadiums and have no 'skin in the game' themselves, they can and will obsess over easy stories.

PEW's study that we noted this week? Iraq never got that attention. In three weeks, Egypt was the story. Iraq never got that attention.

Now the PEW study only goes back to 2007. You can argue that Iraq got that kind of attention the first month of the war and you can say it went on until Bully Boy Bush stood under the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner.

But you need to grasp that the Iraq War is still ongoing and that it never received that kind of attention. The PEW study found the closest was in 2007 when the surge was being sold. But that was US coverage of US events. That was Congressional testimony padding out the so-called Iraq coverage.

The US government is responsible for the destruction of Iraq. I guess it is a whole hell of a lot easier for American media (including American bloggers) to obsess over Egypt and ignore Iraq. Egypt allows them to self-stroke and claim credit that has not been earned. Iraq would force them to examine the consequences of their government's actions and take accountability.

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Tomorrow on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox (radio program) she interviews Cindy Corrie (Rachel Corrie's mother). It streams at 2:00 pm PST and then is archived.

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oh boy it never ends