The press, for those who missed it, loves, loves, loves to tell of Sunni death squads.
Do Sunni militias exist?
Absolutely they do.
However, so do Shi'ite militias.
A fact the press tends to be less vocal about -- this despite the fact that the number of Shi'ite militias, as well as the number of people in Shi'ite militias, are greater than their Sunni counterparts.
Equally true, Nouri arms the Shi'ite militias, the Shi'ite death squads.
And that's not a new development.
Saturday, a large number of women were killed in an attack on two residential buildings in Baghdad.
In Baghdad -- already that means it's likely Shi'ite militias but how the press loves to cover and cower.
AP notes, "Police officials say the gunmen showed up in four-wheel drive vehicles before storming the buildings" and you can stop right there. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, Four-wheel drive vehicles used in a Baghdad attack tends to mean a Shi'ite militia.
RT counts 33 dead -- 29 of them women. "Authorities have not been able to confirm who was behind the attack, but locals have pointed toward Shia militias, as they have been accused of killing women branded as prostitutes in the district."
Yeah, locals have pointed to.
And if a Sunni militia was carrying out attacks in Baghdad, locals would pointing that out.
29 women are dead and many of the press outlets run with the women were prostitutes. The women are dead and can't defend themselves and yet the pres is happy to run with one of the worst insults that could made of a woman in Iraq.
The Telegraph of London carries an uncredited story that's AFP and they tell you the killers wrote on the door that this is the fate that befalls prostitutes.
So a group of killers kills 29 women and this 'moral' outfit also, thanks to a lousy press, gets to define the victims as well?
The report tells us that the weapons used to murder the women had silencers on them.
In Baghdad, that means a Shi'ite militia.
But people want to tiptoe on that -- the same people who want to call 29 dead Iraqi women "whores."
That's what the press does when it repeats those charges.
They've done that since the start of the war and AFP has been the worst offender.
ITV wants you to know, "There was no way to immediately confirm who was responsible for the attack." They want you to know that as they refuse to even suggest that the signs indicate it was a Shi'ite group.
Only Reuters is able or willing to note that the assailants were likely Shi'ite. Other outlets -- such as NPR's Scott Newman -- that 'venture' are really just noting Reuters -- example, "However, Reuters notes that 'Shi’ite militias have been accused [. . .]'."
Again, there's no rush by most media outlets to connect the basic dots on who did the killing.
But suggesting that the women, the dead women who cannot defend their own names, were prostitutes based on what the killers, the criminals, wrote on the door of one of the buildings?
That's fine for the press.
There are no standards here at all except that if a woman is murdered she had it coming.
That is, after all, what repeating the slur that the dead were prostitutes is doing -- arguing the women had it coming.
In the United States, a sex worker is far from the worst thing a person can be.
But the 29 women weren't Americans. They were Iraqi women and, in Iraq, an affair can get you killed in a so-called 'honor' killing. In Iraq, there is a judgment that women who are prostitutes or 'fornicators' are people who deserve to die.
So it's really appalling that the same men who killed these women now get to control how these women will be seen because the press is so eager to assist the killers.
And because the press is so eager to assist the killers, bothering to identify the killers will be a task no one except for Reuters attempts to tackle. Smear the women as prostitutes while protecting the killers from being 'falsely accused' of being Shi'ites.
The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, Antiwar.com, Pacifica Evening News, the Guardian, the ACLU, Jane Fonda and Tavis Smiley -- updated:
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