Sunday, August 12, 2012


Yesterday saw an attack where the assailants first sifted through the people to determine who was Shi'ite and who was Sunni: "AFP report s that 6 swimmers were shot dead in and quotes the police chief of Tuz Khurmatu stating, 'This is a terrorist act, not a criminal act.  Two gunmen attacked them while they were swimming.'  Alsumaria reports that there were four shooters on two motrocycles.  Bryar Mohammed and Qader Ismael (AKnews) report that the four men began questioning all present to find out which teenagers and children were Shi'ite and from Amrlin village.  Those that were were then handcuffed and shot in front of everyone.  AP says 7 were shot dead but otherwise reports similar details." Today something similar took place.  AFP reports that "between the twons of Amerli and Suleiman Bek," unknown assailants forced 25 men to identify themselves as Sunni or Shia.  Those stating they were Sunni were ordered to go and the 8 Shi'ites were then shot dead.  Bombs were left for security personnel -- including one under a corpse -- and at least four police officers were wounded by bombings.

In addition, AP adds that 2 Jurf al-Sakhar roadside bombings left 3 police officers dead, three more injured and two bystanders wounded as well while 2 employees of the Sunni Religious Endowment were shot dead outside their Baghdad homes.  Press TV notes a Mousl home invasion in which 1 Asiacell mobile phone company worker was killed.

Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count tabulates 157 people killed in violence.  AFP's already behind (use the Press TV link above).  They miss two and three a day and it adds up.  They're over thirty behind in their count already this month.  At least they now keep a count.

An interesting e-mail from an Iraqi refugee in Europe notes his belief that the US government wars on Syria and Lebanon before that are part of not just a plan for the region but a way for the US government to run from their what their crimes in Iraq have done.  The Iraqi professor proposes that encouraging violence and destabilization elsewhere allows the attention to escape Iraq and prevent the birth defects from being covered by the US press.

It is true that the press plays Red Cross as opposed to journalists.  They refuse to cover reality.  They love to cover the rumors and whispers ahead of a conflict.  They love to cover press briefings by the US military.  But what's it actually like on the ground?  US outlets weren't interested in that before the war.  They loved being Newsweek with these diagrams based on rumors about what complexes were under what palace and what government building.  They'd rather jerk off with that b.s. then report on reality.

And that refusal to address reality runs through all the US coverage with very few exceptions.  The New York Times infamously ignored Iraqi women when the GoGo Boys dominated the press coverage that helped the war continue.  A little over half the people of Iraq were disappeared by one outlet.  So much easier to speak with the exiles who returned to Iraq after the US invaded than to deal with the realities of war.

I enjoyed the e-mail and wouldn't put it past any government to try to distract from the ongoing tragedy they caused but I also know it doesn't take a great deal to distract the highly uninformed US press which has fewer and fewer roots in real journalism with each passing year (if you doubt that, check the op-ed page columnists and note how few are doing anything other than teasing a TV headline into a column which they dress up with pop-cultural references).

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.

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