Saturday, March 12, 2011

New York Times, misreporting Iraq for how many years now?

Judith Miller is gone -- though many of her co-collaborators remain at the New York Times -- that's more than just Michael R. Gordon. The paper that began selling the Iraq War in 2001, continues to do so. 2001? Yes. Don't expect your house-trained watchdoggies to ever tell you about the October 2001 front page story linking Iraq to 9-11. Everyone tries to pretend that one never existed.

But it did. And though there was a brief period where the paper did some strong work from Iraq (Sabrina Tavernise, Alissa J. Rubin, Damien Cave, etc.), it's returned to its propaganda role. Which is why they either misreport on the protests or they ignore them today. Which is why it was the Washington Post telling you about the attacks on journalists and protesters and not the New York Times. Which is why even after Nouri publicly apologized to one journalist (who pressed the issue during a news briefing), the New York Times really hasn't seen fit to print the realities.

Right now you get the feeling that if it weren't so determined to silence all real stories coming out of Iraq, the paper would just close down their Baghdad operation. But they'll keep spending the money just so they can say, "It couldn't have happened! If it did, we would have reported it! Do you realize how much money we're still spending to cover Iraq!"

Yesterday's snapshot noted: "Dar Addustour reports one of Nouri's 'finest,' the man in charge of the Rapid Response Brigade got caught by the Integrity Commission in the process of accepting a $50,000 bribe. And? He ordered the forces to attack the Integrity Commission, he ordered the forces to attack them and beat them -- beat nine of them, leaving them all wounded and three of the nine requiring hospitalization. That's Nouri al-Maliki's thugs." Look in vain for any report of that confrontation -- which took place near the Baghdad Airport -- from the paper of misrecord. You won't find it.

What the Times couldn't cover, other outlets did, enough to embarrass Nouri al-Maliki. New Sabah reports the latest including that Rashim Hassan Ugaili, chief judge of the Integrity Commssion, states Nouri has "ordered the arrest" of Maj Gen Numan, the commander of the Rapid Reaction Brigade. It lists the amount of the bribe as 60 million dinars. A shoot out ensued, one the New York Times apparently missed, as attempts were made to carry out the order but Numan finally surrendered. MP Sabah al-Saadi is quoted decrying that assault on the Integrity Commission which took place Thursday when they caught Numan taking a bribe. Meanwhile the Interior Ministry's Director of Internal Affairs, Maj Gen Ahmed Abu Ioaf, is threatening to sue anyone repeating that he is facing corruption charges

How do you have a trained staff of reporters in Baghdad and yet you're unable to report on an official being caught in the act of accepting a bribe, the official ordering that the people who have caught in (members of the Integrity Commission) be beaten, three of the members ending up requiring hospitalization, the official going on the run, an arrest warrant being issued for the official, his being cornered and a shoot out ensuing before he finally surrenders?

That sounds like a major story. Even if every detail were false (it's been widely reported so it should be as true as anything the US press prints), it would certainly be worthy of a debunking. But the Times remains silent. They sold the illegal war and they're selling the continuation of it now. (They are hardly alone.) In order to do that, they have to convince readers that things are going swimmingly.

The following community sites updated last night and today:

Nick C. Tonkin (Daily Sound) reports:

Santa Barbara's Veterans for Peace held a press conference in front of City Hall Friday to voice opposition for the continued military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group plans on holding a rally on March 19 where they will walk from De La Guerra Plaza to Arlington West.
Former Santa Barbara mayor and current SBCC Trustee Marty Blum gave the opening speech, questioning why America is still locked up in military conflicts after so many years.
"I have no idea why we're still here," Blum said. "We should have been having a good life without any wars a long time ago."

Remember, there will be protests in the US. A.N.S.W.E.R. and March Forward! and others will be taking part in these action:

March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.

The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.

While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.

Actions of civil resistance are spreading.

On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.

Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends