Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Haider's spin versus reality

Al Jazeera reports there were at least 3 suicide attacks on Iraqi security convoys yesterday which left at least 55 dead.  Of interest, the Tuesday event broke slow and Iraqi officials were quick to deny it and even now are disputing the death toll.  This goes to Haider al-Abadi's devotion to propaganda which may (temporarily) win the 'spin war' but loses everything else including the reality check.

Haider's attacks on the press began when he grew enraged in April over the press noting the failures of the military.  It led to his infamous public remarks about how he hoped to be able to control the press shortly.  These remarks were ignored by the press despite a vast number of reporters attending the public event.

While it was short on facts, yesterday the news cycle was full of bragging of how many 'terrorists' the Shi'ite militias had arrested.  This was sold as success.  No one thought to question it or wonder who exactly was being arrested.  Today, Jay Akbar (Daily Mail) covers some arrests:

Hundreds of civilians who escaped the Iraqi city of Ramadi after it was seized by ISIS in last week's bloody insurgency have been rounded up and arrested by Iraqi militia - because they were suspected of being terrorists in disguise.
New footage appears to show huge numbers of Iraqi refugees shackled in chains to one another and being led single-file through a desert region of Anbar province.
Reports suggest the civilians were arrested by members of an Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia group called Popular Mobilisation who control and police Baghdad.

And that's why you don't cheerlead arrests while pretending to be reporters.

In other news, AFP notes, "State TV said the paramilitaries had renamed the campaign 'Labeyk Ya Iraq' (At Your Service Iraq) Wednesday. A spokesman for the paramilitary groups, known as Hashid Shaabi, said both names had 'the same meaning'."

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