Friday, October 02, 2015

The only game in town

Shen Qing (Xinhau) reports that Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, "says he would consider and welcome Russian airstrikes in his country. The Prime Minister gave his views in an interview with France 24 on Thursday on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly."

Loveday Morris (Washington Post) reports, "As Moscow deepens its military involvement in the region, Iraq appears to be increasingly looking east for assistance in its fight against Islamic State extremists, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi indicating Thursday that he would welcome a Russian bombing campaign."

Reuters notes, "Iraq's government would welcome Russian air strikes against Islamic State and was receiving information from both Syria and Russia on the militant group, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday."

On and on it goes.

And, of course, they're all working from this France24 interview.

And, of course, Sputnik reported, "Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Thursday against speculation concerning the possibility of Russian airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq, as no plans have been announced by Russian authorities."

It was around one a.m. when we were done with the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin.  And I look through the news to see what to focus on for the snapshot and all I see is the garbage above -- written and rewritten by one outlet after another.

This is reporting?

Iraq continues to fragment -- the government anyway.  Somehow the Iraqi people have managed to hold their country together -- Islamic State seizing territory, the Baghdad based government dropping bombs on civilians, etc, etc.  But the Iraqi people have continued better than most ever could.

But the story for over 24 hours is the above.

Russia has not dropped one bomb on Iraq yet.

But it might!

It might!

Is this really an effective way to utilize news resources?

And does anyone really believe the above in any way is providing coverage of the ongoing Iraq War?  Or, for that matter, informing the American citizens what is going on in Iraq or how all the tax dollars are being spent?

In what way does the above provide transparency or even basic information?

All of these reporters working from the same France24 interview.

By contrast, did any of them amplify The New Yorker piece?

CNN's Arwa Damon Tweeted about it.

Again, The New Yorker report is by Rania Abouzeid and here's an excerpt:

In 2012, Iraq passed its first law specifically against human trafficking, but the law is routinely ignored, and sexual crimes, including rape and forced prostitution, are common, women’s-rights groups say. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2011, according to the latest Ministry of Planning report, a survey found that more than nine per cent of respondents between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four said they had been subjected to sexual violence. The real number is likely much higher, given the shame attached to reporting such crimes in a society where a family’s honor is often tied to the chastity of its women. The victims of these crimes are often considered outcasts and can be killed for “dishonoring” their family or their community.
Since 2006, Layla, a rape victim and former prostitute, has been secretly mapping Iraq’s underworld of sex trafficking and prostitution. Through her network of contacts in the sex trade, she gathers information about who is selling whom and for how much, where the victims are from, and where they are prostituted and trafficked. She passes the information, through intermediaries, to Iraqi authorities, who usually fail to act on it. Still, her work has helped to convict several pimps, including some who kidnapped children. That Saturday night, I accompanied Layla and Mohammad on a tour of some of the places that she investigates, on the condition that I change her name, minimize details that might identify her, and not name her intermediaries.

The work is extremely dangerous. The pimps whom Layla encounters are women, but behind them is a tangled hierarchy of armed men: corrupt police, militias that profit from the sex trade, and militias that brutally oppose it. On the morning of July 13, 2014, the bullet-ridden bodies of twenty-eight women and five men were retrieved from two apartments, said to be brothels, in a building complex in Zayouna, a neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. I saw the bodies a few hours later, at the city morgue, laid out on the floor. Morgue workers blamed the religious militias, singling out the pro-Iranian Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, one of the many armed outfits proliferating in Iraq. Other groups of suspected prostitutes have been found shot dead, but the Zayouna incident was the largest killing in recent years, and it prompted at least fifteen neighborhood pimps whom Layla knew to flee with their girls to Iraqi Kurdistan. Layla often visits apartments like the ones in Zayouna, posing as a retired pimp. As a cover, she sells the madams abayas that are intricately embroidered with colored crystals and diamantés; they serve to identify women as pimps, rather than prostitutes, at night clubs.

Considering how many outlets have been complicit in providing silence and cover for the prostitution rings in Iraq -- and how they've done that throughout the long and ongoing Iraq War -- you'd think they'd want to correct their past.  Or at least get absolution for it -- weren't the same outlets just heavy panting for a full week over the Pope visiting the United States?

But they ignore the prostitution.

They instead work overtime to report (repeat) what might happen.

I guess that is the real story of the MSM coverage of Iraq:  What might happen.

They focused on What Might Happen to sell the illegal war.

They focused on What Might Happen to keep the illegal war going.

Reality has always been too scary for the MSM.

Which is probably why most Americans think of Iraq as something 'solved' by Barack Obama.

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