Thursday, February 27, 2014

How the press helps Nouri

If you never grasp how pathetic the US media is with regards to Iraq, note that the following regarding Nouri's assault on Anbar Province can be and was published by The Economist:

Since sending the Iraqi army to dismantle a protest camp in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, in December, Iraqi security forces have been embroiled in a standoff with tribal fighters, some backed by al-Qaeda types who are also fighting in neighbouring Syria. From a former American base, the Iraqi army has mortared the outskirts of the city of Fallujah, sending over 300,000 civilians fleeing in the biggest displacement since the civil war of 2006-2007.
Iraq’s government bills the battle as a fight against al-Qaeda rather than a struggle against Sunni Iraqis who say the government arrests and executes its young men and has shut it out of power. Unable to speed up delivery of American attack helicopters, the Iraqi government has persuaded the American government to lease it some. Both Iraqi and foreign journalists are banned from the area.

"Iraq's government bills the battle as a fight against al-Qaeda rather than a struggle against Sunni Iraqis who say the government arrests and executes its young men and has shut it out of power."

And the assaults take place where "both Iraqi and foreign journalists are banned."

In fairness, Martha Raddatz (ABC News) did a video report, January 23rd, on ABC's World News about how she was prevented (by the Iraqi military) from getting anywhere near Falluja.

Yet the US press repeatedly declares people terrorists in their reports.

They aren't present.  All they have is the claims from Nouri's government.

But they run with it over and over.

Despite the record of all governments lying and of Nouri's government specifically lying.

People are shot dead and the government calls them "terrorists" and a supposed independent press runs with it.

They run with it and reinforce it -- whether it's true or not.

It took the White House and the State Dept making statements to stop the US media from lumping everyone in with al Qaeda.  The administration did that for their own self-interest (a month before the statements, we pointed out that if you use the catch-all umbrella it means Barack lied).

But all that's done is make the US press a little more careful about insisting "al Qaeda" over and over.

They will fret over Barack's reputation.

But the reputation of so many dead?

Not a concern to them.

Which is also why they refuse to note their deaths in their coverage or monthly coverage.

The dead had no trial, no public defender or advocate.  The only voice is the voice of those who killed them.  And they say it was a "terrorist"?

That's more than good enough for what passes for the press in the United States.

How do innocents die in slaughter after slaughter around the world?

A whorish press that presents government claims as verifiable facts.

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 853 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.

And today's violence?

National Iraqi News Agency reports an al-Shaab bus bombing claimed 1 life and left three more people injured, Commander Rashid Falih announced 4 suspects were shot dead in Anbar, a Tarmiyah bombing left three Iraqi soldiers injured, Commander Mohamed Khalaf al-Dulaimi of the 10th Army Division announced 10 suspects were killed in Krahh Village near Kirkuk, 1 person was shot dead in Muqdadiyah, Baghdad Operations Command's Saad Maan announced 7 snipers were shot dead outside Qarma, an armed battle in Albu Jabir left 3 rebels dead (and two more injured), the Ministry of the Interior announced they killed 4 Da'ash "near al-Mowdhafeen bridge in Anbar," a Mosul attack left one police officer injured, the Ministy of Interior says they killed 4 Da'ash in the desert of Ishtar, and a Sadr City motorcycle bombing left 11 dead and 35 injured.  Kareem Raheem, Suadad al-Salhy, Ned Parker and Mark Heinrich (Reuters) report  the death toll rose to 31 with the number injured increasing to 51.

April 30th, Iraq is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections.   Mwstafa Habib (Niqash) reports:

Election rules say that campaigning for Iraq's April 30 general elections is not supposed to have started yet. But local politicians are already bending the rules. The latest manipulations involve Facebook fan pages and spam letters, as well as colour-coded support for military action in Anbar.

Iraq is preparing for general elections at the end of April. Despite the fact that all of the candidates and their parties have now been listed, election campaigning shouldn’t start officially until Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission, or IHEC, approves a date. And campaigning should also stop 24 hours before the polling centres open on April 30.

“We haven't yet specified a date for election campaigns to begin,” Kalshan Kamal, one of the commissioners from IHEC, told NIQASH. “We need to check that all candidates are eligible for office first. Doing this is complex and it requires time. Only when we've finished this, can election campaigning begin properly.”

But as usual in Iraq, politicians are hardly paying any attention to the rules. Many have found ways in which they can begin campaigning and they’re using electioneering tools that IHEC doesn't cover, or doesn't explicitly ban.

One of the most common loopholes involves social media site, Facebook. There are now dozens, if not hundreds, of Facebook pages promoting certain Iraqi politicians, advertising their election promises or broadcasting the serial numbers their parties will use for identification in the election. Hundreds of ordinary Iraqis have been receiving mysterious friendship requests and unsolicited letters from candidates.

Posters of Nouri al-Maliki went up in January around Baghdad.  That was a violation -- a clear one -- but no one seemed overly concerned.

The following community sites -- plus, Pacifica Evening News, Ms. magazine's blog and Jake Tapper --  updated last night and today:

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