Saturday, January 04, 2014

Must read on the slaughter of the Iraqi press

If you want to know about the reality of 2013, please read Dirk Adriaensens "2013: Another year of slaughter in Iraq claims the lives of at least 21 media professionals" (BRussells Tribunal).

I'll write about it tonight, I'll include it in at least one snapshot next week.

And I'm even putting it on the link list as it's own link.  (We already have BRussells Tribunal on the link list itself.) (ADDED: It won't let me add it on it's own to the links.  I'll see later if I can get into HTML and I'll add it that way.  But I'm not sure on the new Blogger/Blogspot if you can go into programming on the template anymore.)

If you don't know BRussells Tribunal, you're missing out on a great deal.

Anbar Province is currently under assault by Nouri al-Maliki.

In a functioning world, the United Nations and others would have stepped in, arrested him and put him on trial long ago.

Such as for the April 23rd massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the toll rose to 53 dead.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

And yet the pathetic western press either ignores Hawija outright or minimizes it -- by saying 'over forty' or 'forty four' and never noting the 8 children killed.

BRussels Tribunal was the only English outlet in the world that published an account of what happened by an eye witness.  In fact, the western press never bothered to speak to even one protester present.

Not one.

They never had a quote because they never gave a damn.

BRussells Tribunal carried  the account of a man who was present, who was injured and who lost his son.  Read Thamer Hussein Mousa's remarks below and grasp that no news outlet thought his story -- or the stories of others present -- qualified as "news" or even mattered:


I am Thamer Hussein Mousa from the village of Mansuriya in the district of Hawija. I am disabled. My left arm was amputated from the shoulder and my left leg amputated from the hip, my right leg is paralyzed due to a sciatic nerve injury, and I have lost sight in my left eye.
I have five daughters and one son. My son’s name is Mohammed Thamer. I am no different to any other Iraqi citizen. I love what is good for my people and would like to see an end to the injustice in my country.

When we heard about the peaceful protests in Al-Hawija, taking place at ‘dignity and honor square’, I began attending with my son to reclaim our usurped rights. We attended the protests every day, but last Friday the area of protest was besieged before my son and I could leave; just like all the other protestors there.

Food and drink were forbidden to be brought into the area….

On the day of the massacre (Tuesday 23 April 2013) we were caught by surprise when Al-Maliki forces started to raid the area. They began by spraying boiling water on the protestors, followed by heavy helicopter shelling. My little son stood beside me. We were both injured due to the shelling.

My son, who stood next to my wheelchair, refused to leave me alone. He told me that he was afraid and that we needed to get out of the area. We tried to leave. My son pushed my wheelchair and all around us, people were falling to the ground.

Shortly after that, two men dressed in military uniforms approached us. One of them spoke to us in Persian; therefore we didn’t understand what he said. His partner then translated. It was nothing but insults and curses. He then asked me “Handicapped, what do you want?” I did not reply. Finally I said to him, “Kill me, but please spare my son”. My son interrupted me and said, “No, kill me but spare my father”. Again I told him “Please, spare my son. His mother is waiting for him and I am just a tired, disabled man. Kill me, but please leave my son”. The man replied “No, I will kill your son first and then you. This will serve you as a lesson.” He then took my son and killed him right in front of my eyes. He fired bullets into his chest and then fired more rounds. I can’t recall anything after that. I lost consciousness and only woke up in the hospital, where I underwent surgery as my intestines were hanging out of my body as a result of the shot.

After all of what has happened to me and my little son – my only son, the son who I was waiting for to grow up so he could help me – after all that, I was surprised to hear Ali Ghaidan (Lieutenant General, Commander of all Iraqi Army Ground Forces) saying on television, “We killed terrorists” and displaying a list of names, among them my name: Thamer Hussein Mousa.

I ask you by the name of God, I appeal to everyone who has a shred of humanity. Is it reasonable to label me a terrorist while I am in this situation, with this arm, and with this paralyzed leg and a blind eye?

I ask you by the name of God, is it reasonable to label me a terrorist? I appeal to all civil society and human rights organizations, the League of Arab States and the Conference of Islamic States to consider my situation; all alone with my five baby daughters, with no one to support us but God. I was waiting for my son to grow up and he was killed in this horrifying way.
I hold Obama responsible for this act because he is the one who gave them these weapons. The weapons and aircrafts they used and fired upon us were American weapons. I also hold the United States of America responsible for this criminal act, above all, Obama.

Those remarks remain heart breaking because of Hawija.  As Nouri attacks Anbar and the western press ignores the people of Anbar, the remarks above serve to remind that western outlets are not reporting.  Reporting requires addressing what's happening to the people, not merely repeating what the government forces (attacking the people!) say happened.

If you think people matter, if you think Iraq matters, make a point to read Dirk Adriaensens "2013: Another year of slaughter in Iraq claims the lives of at least 21 media professionals" (BRussells Tribunal).

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