Monday, May 23, 2016

Iraq realities

E-mails, we get e-mails.

Why, visitors are e-mailing the public account, am I not covering the Iraq Inquiry report?

One notes, "Chilcot eviscerates Tony Blair in it and you're not even covering it."

I would love to read it and discover Tony Blair has been eviscerated.

But that's not what's being reported.

Someone's leaking.

Are they leaking accurately?

I have no idea.

When the report's released we'll note what it says.

The report hasn't been released yet.

As long as we're correcting things, Falluja is not a "town."

It is a city, one of Iraq's largest cities.

XINHUA explains, "Fallujah has been under IS control since early 2014. There is no reliable information about how many civilians remained in the city, which once accommodated about 300,000 people. Non-official figures said thousands of families have been stuck inside with an acute shortage of food and medicine."

Western media mistakes like calling Falluja a town  are hardly surprising considering how little interest the western media has had in Falluja for over two years.

Actually, that should read "for years."

Because the birth defects in Falluja are of little interest to western outlets.  With all of its resources, for example, THE NEW YORK TIMES has yet to do a report on the birth defects -- let alone connect the defects to the weapons used in the assaults on Falluja in 2004.

But I'm referring to the more modern period.

In January of 2014, for example, Nouri al-Maliki began bombing the city of Falluja.

He began daily bombing it.

Civilian homes.

Civilians became collateral damage -- this is a legally defined War Crime.

It's one of the reasons Senator Bob Menendez questioned the US continuing to supply the Nouri al-Maliki regime with weapons.

But it was never news to the western media until one Saturday in September when newly installed prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared them wrong and declared them ceased.

If only the same press attention had been given the Sunday after the announcement.

Because those bombings never stopped and have continued ever since.

Today, at least 6 civilians are dead from the Iraqi military bombing residential homes in Falluja.

When does the Islamic State show up in Falluja?

I believe AFP can hold its head high on this one (while everyone else looks at their desks and prays "Please God, don't call on me").

It was when protesters shut down the major road leading from Baghdad to Falluja and Nouri was threatening to burn them alive.

That's when the Islamic State publicly shows up.

They show up and they state that they will defend the protesters (peaceful protesters) from Nouri's forces.

So much of Falluja is confusing to the western press -- but, hey, they've lied about Falluja all along.  This site was only three days old when we caught THE NEW YORK TIMES serving up a 'report' that was days old because they'd passed it over to the military to vet before printing it.

But, AFP, you can take your seat and stop strutting.  Largely due to nonsense like this:

  1. Who's who in the battle for

Who's who in Falluja?

It's paragraphs on this group and that group.

Except the residents.

They get a single sentence -- in a paragraph on Hashed al-Shaabi.  Oh, and that group, they're part of the Iraqi forces -- a detail that AFP 'forgets.'

Haider made them a part of the forces.  Nouri al-Maliki outlawed the militias but Haider brought them back and made them government forces.

The coverage this morning is largely rah-rah, divorced from reality and unconcerned with the "tens of thousands" of civilians still in the city.

Asa Fitch (THE AUSTRALIAN) is one of the few exceptions:

Civilians inside were eager for any relief from isolation, 74-year-old resident Mohessen Hossam said. Many people have died of starvation in the city since Iraqi forces imposed a blockade last year, residents have said, although the precise toll is impossible to measure.
”There’s no food, no fuel and no services, so what is left for us to live for?” Mr Hossam said, adding that he could hear warplanes flying overhead on Sunday. “We want someone to help us — anyone.”

The western media is also not too interested in anything that makes it look like this is anything but a straight forwad march on Falluja.

For example, search in vain for this Tweeted detail in any reports filed this morning.
  1. Breaking The Islamic state targeted main base of the Shi'a militia and Iraqi army east of with rockets, dead and wounded reported.

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