Friday, October 09, 2015

Silence on Shi'ite militia violence, gossip when they think the violence can be pinned elsewhere

Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports a Baquba police member states mortar attacks on Diyala Province villages left 35 dead with forty-five more people injured.

AP has no idea who carried out the attack but immediately rushes in to blame the Islamic State: "The official did not speculate on who may be responsible for the attack, but the Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in the volatile province."

Others aren't so sure.

  • Shia militias crimes bombed Sunni civilians yesterday by mortars to displaced them by force 50 civilian killed &injured Diyala

  • So AP could have just as easily have written: "The official did not speculate on who may be responsible for the attack but the Shi'ite militias have been responsible for attacks to displace Sunnis."

    Is it an accident?  A knee-jerk response?

    When the press rushes to blame the Islamic State (a terrorist group to be sure but not the only ones responsible for the violence in Iraq)?

    One might think so were it not for the continued refusal to cover the violence of the Shi'ite militias.

    When's the last time the western press reported on Hawija?

  • Even when photos exist, the western press looks the other way.

    It's as though they can only cover the violence that might be Islamic State related.

    But then again, when Ned Parker covered the violence of the Shi'ite militias, he was threatened, his photo was shown on Shi'ite television programs and he had to leave the country while Haider al-Abadi (prime minister) made jokes about it.

    In other news, Lisa DeBode (Al Jazeera) reports:

    A prominent women’s rights advocate will urge the U.N. Security Council next week to help fight sex trafficking in Iraq by pushing Baghdad to legalize shelters for women fleeing abuse and enslavement.
    Yanar Mohammed, an Iraqi activist who founded an underground network of safehouses for women trying to escape violence, announced Wednesday that she plans to testify before the council on Oct. 13 about how Iraq’s ban on shelters of this type puts women and girls in danger.

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