Tuesday, September 13, 2011


For this entry, we're noting an assault on an Iraqi journalist, Anthony Arnove's radio appearance and a few other topics coming up in e-mails. DeShawn e-mails regarding Anthony Arnove's appearance on Law and Disorder Radio yesterday to share, "Listening to him, I was left with the impression that his charge of racism in the peace movement was really an attack on the left-right coalition that many are trying to build though I've noted in the last year Arnove hasn't been a part of that effort. I agree that Anthony's charge was ridiculous and that he didn't back it up one bit. I also strongly believe that was an attack on the Coming Together movement to build a coalition against the wars. And I noticed that he failed to mention that movement in any way." Arnove's appearance is covered in yesterday's snapshot, Betty's "Sometimes he wants to talk racism, sometimes not," Elaine's "Hold off on the rewrites, Anthony Arnove," Trina's "Barack and Arnove try to dupe" and Marcia's "The color line of Arnove."

Aswat al-Iraq reported yesterday, "An official in the former U.S. President's Administration, George Bush, has said on Monday that one of the important strategic necessities for the presence of the U.S. forces in Iraq is 'the west's need for oil with suitable prices,' considering the number agreed upon for those forces is not enough and does not satisfy its motive'." A lot of e-mails from people confused by that because they can't find it. It wasn't published Monday, it was published Friday by the Washington Post. The former official is Meghan O'Sullivan and the column's entitled "Why U.S. troops should stay in Iraq." Her remarks on oil include:

Finally, and most compelling, there is the role that Iraq may play in averting a major global energy crisis in the coming years. The world economic recession eased pressure on global oil supplies and provided relief from the climbing energy prices of 2007 and 2008. But a quiet trend of 2010 was that growth in global oil consumption grew at the second-fastest rate ever, 2.8 percent, while growth in global crude oil production lagged behind at 2.5 percent. If demand continues to outgrow supply, it will be only a few short years before global spare capacity of oil — one of the indicators most closely tied to prices — gets dangerously low, and jittery markets push prices up and up. Assuming the world escapes another dip in economic growth, this outcome would probably materialize even without any additional geopolitical hiccups, such as political unrest in Saudi Arabia or a military confrontation with Iran.

I've focused on the assassination of Hadi al-Mehdi which I am outraged by. (As disclosed before, we had exchanged a few e-mails.) His assassination last Thursday has not been the only assault on journalists in Iraq in that time period. The day before he was assassinated, Reporters Without Borders notes that journalist Ahmed Mira was illegally arrested and beaten by security forces in the Kurdish region. Reporters Without Borders notes:

“It was 12:30 pm when men in the military uniform of the special forces stormed into Lvin’s offices,” Mira said. “After threatening my secretary, who refused to let them pass, and threatening to smash everything, they entered my office, searched every corner of the premises and insulted me repeatedly. Then I was handcuffed and hit on the legs and ankles with the butt of a Kalashnikov. My brother Osman was also hit.

Mira added: “Four military vehicles were waiting outside. I was bundled into one of them and was taken to the Bakhtyari police station. Then I was taken before a judge, who ordered my release at 3:30 pm. I still don’t know why I was attacked like this. I have filed a complaint against the special forces and against the police officers who insulted me when I was at the police station."

Contacted by Reporters Without Borders, the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) denied any involvement in the incident. Kurdistan’s intelligence agency, known as the Asayesh, also insisted that the special forces (for which it is responsible) had nothing to do with it.

Aswat al-Iraq notes the following is taking place in response to the above assault, "Sulaimaniya government shall be informed in advance of any arrest to any journalist in the province, official at the Kurdish region government said here today. Lateef Sheikh Omar told Aswat al-Iraq that Kurdish Premier Barham Saleh 'is keen to implement the law and avoid violations against journalists, so any journalist to be arrested, with an arrest warrant, we should be informed in advance'."

A number of e-mails ask about an interview Colin Powell gave. I didn't see that until Sunday night and still haven't watched it. If I have time to catch it today we'll note it in the snapshot.

The following community sites -- plus CCR and Antiwar.com -- updated last night and this morning:

Plus Kat's "Nicholas Ray," Ann's "2 women, 5 men,'' Ruth's "Oh, Arianna" and Mike's "Boots on the ground." And we'll close with this from an important report Information Clearing House has entitled "Al Jazeera Deletes Content that Disturb US Government:"

US government keeps talking about its values of democracy, freedom in general and freedom of press. But when it comes to exposing their own crimes or publishing views of the “other side”, freedom of press is not anymore free and one sided view should be the only one “beamed.”

A confidential US cables from US embassy in Doha, Qatar where Aljazeera head quarter is located and was published recently on Wikileaks, reveals that Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar has agreed to US government request to delete and altar website content that “disturb” the US government.

The cable talks about the meeting between US government officials with Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report on Al Jazeera and what the US government considers “disturbing” Al Jazeera website content.

In the meeting US government officials raised the question of an Al Jazeera website piece published listed under the heading “”Special
Coverage”, and containing “Live Testimony Concerning Tal Afar”. “The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes to access testimony from ten alleged “eye witnesses” who described recent military operations in Tal Afar. “”

Khanfar said said that in accordance with an earlier promise to US government officials, he had taken a look at the piece and had two images removed (two injured children in hospital beds, and a woman with serious facial injury.)

US government officials also pointed out “that the testimony of a “doctor” in the piece also implied that poison gas had been used on residents of Tal Afar and that the appearance of the piece, in particular the bloody bullet hole icons, came across as “inflammatory and journalistically questionable.” Khanfer said he would have the piece removed. he said “Not immediately, because that would be talked about, but over two or three days,”

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