Thursday, November 01, 2012

253 died in Iraq from violence during October

It's November 1st.  Many of us are recovering from Halloween parties.  Do we really have time for AFP's stupid nonsense this morning?

AFP wants to be first out of the gate with figures.

And all they do is remind what a s**t-poor job they've done in Iraq.

We'll get to that slowly.  As I wait for the sugar to kick in.  (Left over candy from last night's party.)

As we noted repeatedly throughout September and last month, if there are 6 deaths in Iraq, AFP reports 4.  It never can get it accurate and it never does updates.  It's a half-assed count.   In fact, half-assed is becoming the unofficial translation for Agence France Presse.  The obvious way to fix that would be to use Iraq Body Count, even only as a reference included with other figures.  But that's apparently too much.

So AFP wants you to know that the Iraqi ministries say 144 people died.  They then tell you their own count is 136.  They don't tell you that two of the three ministries have no minister in charge of them.  But they don't tell you much anyway.

Iraq Body Count's total for deaths in the month of October? 


253 died from violence.  Iraq Body Count had 356 for the month of September.  So that's 100 less than last month.  And, of course, 253 is a lot more than AFP's ridiculous 136.  But ridiculous is also including the 'ministry' figures when Nouri controls two of the ministries handing out the counts (Defense and Interior) since he refused to nominate people to head the ministries.  Ridiculous is pretending that the international business community is keeping their distance from Iraq -- does no one read the business press? -- and not suspecting that a government desperate to attract foreign money and to look better would low ball the numer of people who died. 

At some point, it's really past time for the press to do their own damn job.  At one point, these issues mattered or appeared to for a large number on the left.  But the reality is Iraq didn't matter at all.  It was a political football used to attack Bully Boy Bush with.  It didn't matter to so many people. 

We used to hear, those of us in the US who care about Iraq, that when the media coverage went away, so would the interest.  Or we'd hear that when the US death toll dipped, no one would care.  And, speaking only for me, I would think, "No, that couldn't be." But I was completely wrong, a total idiot.  When the media ran away from Iraq, the reaction in the US was one of relief. 

The media that sold the illegal war didn't want to cover the country that was destroyed.  Over half of the left didn't want to say the word "Iraq" after Barack was elected president.

That's why AFP can get away with this nonsense.  Some of us wrongly thought there was a press critique taking place during the Bush years.  No.  It was an attempt to take down Bush.

And the ones who pretended to care about press coverage and realities now spend their time whoring for Barack and spinning for him and attempting to make each day a 'winner' for Barack.  The 30 million Iraqis living in the horror of continued war don't mean one damn thing to the posers.

So AFP can get away with this nonsense.

And AFP's gotten away with a lot in terms of Iraq.

When the protests were taking place in 2011, who was the leader on that?  CNN and the Washington Post (the Post only in the first weeks).  Okay.  Well the secret prisons, Nouri's secret prisons?  Who led on that?  Ned Parker and the Los Angeles Times.  Breaking the news that the Pentagon was in fact keeping a body count on Iraqis?  Nancy A. Youssef for Knight Ridder.  Refuting The Myth of the Great Return?  Damien Cave of the New York Times (as well as Cara Buckley and some others for the paper as well -- but Damien Cave was the main one).  The gang-rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer?  Ellen Knickmeyer and the Washington Post.  I can point to work by Lara Jakes and Rebecca Santana of AP, for example, that made a mark.  I can point to many outlets that broke news.

What does AFP do?

What is their story to point to with pride?

Maybe Prashant Rao should work a little less at being King of Social Media and more at being something other than the stenographer to Iraq's ruling elite?

When AFP wallows in the trivial, they encourage people to examine their body of work.  The work from Iraq isn't that impressive.

And sorry for the long delay in getting this entry up.  I didn't want to be in the hotel suite and went to the lobby and every few minutes someone's walked up and I've had to stop.

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