THE U.S. MILITARY MISTAKENLY AND WRONGLY DISPOSED OF KORANS IN AFGHANISTAN.
THAT LED TO SUCH 'PEACEFUL' RESPONSES AS KILLING U.S. SOLDIERS BY IDIOTS WHO SEEM TO THINK MOHAMMED WOULD APPROVE OF THEIR ACTIONS. CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O HAS OFFERED MULTIPLE APOLOGIES EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOW TO THE POINT THAT THE CRAZY ASS ZEALOTS NEED TO BE THE ONE'S APOLOGIZING BECAUSE, RIGHT OR WRONG, DESTROYING A BOOK IS NEVER THE SAME AS KILLING SOMEONE.
IT'S A DETAIL BARRY O DOESN'T SEEM TO GRASP.
WHILE BARRY O SCRAPES AND BOWS, AT LEAST ONE POLITICAL RIVAL RUNS WITH THE ISSUE. NEWT GINGRICH DECLARED TODAY:
The president apologized for the burning, but I haven't seen the president demand that the government of Afghanistan apologize for the killing of two young Americans.
GINGRICH IS RUNNING FOR THE GOP'S PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION.
BARRY O STOPPED WHIMPERING LONG ENOUGH TO MAKE WAR NOISES AT SYRIA BUT IS EXPECTED TO RETURN TO HIS APOLOGY TOUR SHORTLY.
Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports the US Embassy in Iraq has issued a statement on yesterday's attacks throughout the country which includes, "These heinous acts targeted people going to work and shopping, children going to school and security forces working to protect the citizenry." Yes, that would be wrong. Which is why, of course, that the US government evacuated every Iraqi out of the country in February 2003 in anticipation of the invasion. It's why the US ensured that no one was in Falluja before they started their November 2004 assault. What's that? Oh, right. The US government didn't do either of those things. It launched a war and didn't give a damn about children going to school or people going to work or people shopping or anything. It launched an illegal war of choice and now it thinks there's some high ground that can be stood on? There is none.
Last December, Iraq War veteran Ross Caputi (Guardian) wrote about the November 2004 attack on Falluja:
I do not see any contradiction in feeling sympathy for the dead American Marines and soldiers and at the same time feeling sympathy for the Fallujans who fell to their guns. The contradiction lies in believing that we were liberators, when in fact we opprssed the freedoms and wishes of Fallujahs. The contradiction lies in believing that we were heroes, when the definition of "hero" bares no relation to our actions in Fallujah.
What we did to Fallujah cannot be undone, and I see no point in attacking the people in my former unit. What I want to attack are the lies and false beliefs. I want to destroy the prejudcies that prevented us from putting ourselves in the other's shoes and asking ourselves what we would ahve done if a foreign army invaded our country and laid siege to our city.
I understand the psychology that causes the aggressors to blame their victims. I understand the justifications and defense mechanisms. I understand the emotional urge to want to hate the people who killed someone dear to you. But to describe the psychology that preserves such false beliefs is not to ignore the objective moral truth that no attacker can ever justly blame their victims for defending themselves.
Ross Caputi is the founding director of the Justice for Fallujah Project. And the birth defects that continue to be found in the children born in the area after the 2004 assault is not something Iraqis have forgotten or will. Alsumaria TV's most watched report this month was this report on the birth defects in Falluja. Last week, Matthis Chiroux spoke at the Occupy Military Recruiters actions in Manhattan (link is video at World Can't Wait).
Matthis Chiroux: Hey everybody, I'm Matthis. I haven't spoken out in awhile. I've been going to college and learning about the corruption in the market places and the courthouse and right here in these military recruiting centers. And on these US military bases all over the world. These abuses are not part of the story these recruiters are trying to sell your kids. They're trying to sell your kids the Boy Scouts. They're trying to sell your kids the Girl Scouts. They're trying to sell your kids the Peace Corps. The mission they are selling is to engage and destroy so called enemies of the United States of America. Killing bombing writing through streets with guns doesn't help people, is not the Boy Scouts, is not the Girl Scouts, is not fostering democracy. It's fostering a lot of debt. It's fostering a lot of hatred. It's fostering a lot of abuse. And the military, it bears the face of that abuse You see it in vets who come home and can't ever feel normal again. You've seen soldiers who are still in the military can't picture a life without war.
Matthis is an Afghanistan War veteran and Iraq War resister. He and Ross Caputi made some very important observations that appeared to escape our 'wise' press. Fortunately, on the second hour of today's The Diane Rehm Show (NPR), Diane and guests Abderrahim Foukara (Al Jazeera) and Moises Naim (El Pais) were able to discuss yesterday's violent attack across Iraq in an adult manner.
Abderrahim Foukara: Obviously, these bombings in Iraq have happened in a very interesting context because Maliki has been touting himself as the leader of the Iraqi Spring. He's been saying, 'My government' which is a Shi'ite dominated government 'has brought stability to Iraq.' The Iraqis are actually gearing up for hosting the Arab Summit in Baghdad as another sign that the government in Iraq thinks that Iraq is stable. The Saudis, to placate the Iraqis and reward them for joining the boycott of the sanctions against Syria, have said that they will actually -- that they have actually appointed an ambassador for the first time to Iraq since 1990. So I think this spate of bombings is really the answer to all this talk coming out of Baghdad that the situation is under control.
Diane Rehm: Could this be sectarian warfare?
Abderrhaim Foukara: There is definitely sectarian warfare. Nouri's government is Shi'itedominated government and it's seen by many Sunnis -- not just in Iraq but also in the neighborhood of Iraq -- it's seen as a proxy of Iran.
Moises Naim: It is sectarian and has sectarian elements but let's remember it is also about power. These are the use of sectarian sentiments and manipulation of religious feelings and ethnic divides this is a very, very basic fight for power and how to share power between different groups that are jockeying to dominate politics and government in Iraq.
So what do you know, there are political aspects and social aspects and things that go so far beyound the simplistic narrative of "al Qaeda branch" and "al Qaeda llinked" and "al Qaeda adjacent with a stunning turn of the century cottage out back." Reality, the attacks were carried out by Iraqis. It sure makes things simpler if you just pin it all on "al Qaeda" and deny the reality that there are serious splits in Iraq to this day and deny that there is strong opposition to the Nouri al-Maliki government on the part of some Iraqis. If you ignore that, of course, then you'll never, ever have to way in on how authoritarian his goverment has gotten. Which is what most of the US press does over and over. They avoid the issues, they avoid exploration because crowing "al Qaeda! al Qaeda!" means you can have 'fun' conversations where you pretend what if you were an FBI agent tracking a terrorist or 'terrorist' and how you'd conduct yourself. By all means, sit on the couch and explore your own personal fantasies -- but with Oprah off daytime, maybe you should take those sessions to a licensed therapist and instead use media time to discuss realities in Iraq?
Lara Jakes apparently needs therapy desperately. She opens her AP report with, "A spokesman for al-Qaida in Iraq" -- not linked, not branch, not franchise, not chain food establishment, it is, Lara Jakes tells us, "al-Qaida in Iraq." Strangely, in her very next paragraph she insists that Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, the spokesperson she's referring to, is the "spokesman for the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq." Which is it? Is it al Qaeda or is al Qaeda linked? Can we at least whatever today's lie is straight? Is that too much to ask?
Reading Jakes' report is distressing on every level including on the news consumer level.
Patient exhibits the signs of dissociative identity disorder as evidenced by her appearing to speak in one voice and then quickly shifting to another voice. The first voice maintains a man is the spokesperson for al Qaeda in Iraq. The second voice, or personality, chimes in that he is a spokesperson for "the al-Qaieda-linked." Neither personality appears aware of what the other stated. At this stage in the treatment it's too soon to determine if either is the host personality. Possible etiological roots of the reporter's disease may stem from her long-term assignment to conflicts and war zones which may have created higher levels of stress than the host personality could handle, causing a disruption which manifested itself in at least one additional personality.
You're either "linked to" or you "are" them. You can't be both. So let's try to figure out what today's lie is before rushing copy off to the wires, okay?
Lara Jakes does, fortunately, tell us that the translated remarks she's parading came from Rita Katz's SITE Intelligence Group. Ugly Rita's done a great deal of damage over the years. Robert F. Worth gushes about Rita and what a big help she was to him when he was covering Iraq, "Rita really knows what she's talking about -- who's responsible for attacks, what's a legitimate terrorist organization and what's not." Does she? Because I'm not remembering any great arrests resulting from Rita's 'information.'
But in this community, we remember 'reporter' Robert F. Worth and his accomplice Carolyn Marshall. We remember them in relation to their coverage -- excuse me, their pre-coverage -- of an Article 32 hearing into the March 12, 2006 gang rape and murder of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, the murder of her parents Qassim Hamza Raheem and Fakhriya Taha Muhasen and the murder of her five-year-old sister Hadeel Qassim Hamza. These crimes were War Crimes and the criminals were US soldiers. We may have last noted Robert and Carolyn's 'amazing' 'reporting' in the April 6, 2009 snapshot:
Friday, June 20, 2006, Steven D. Green was arrested in the US (Asheville, North Carolina) having already been discharged in May. He was charged with murder and with rape. Green appeared in a Kentucky federal court November 8, 2006 and entered a plea of not guilty. Green was out of the US military, Paul Cortez, Jesse Spielman, Bryan Howard and James P. Barker were still in. An Article 32 hearing was scheduled for August (2006) and, strangely, Robert F. Worth and Carolyn Marshall (New York Times), ahead of the Article 32 hearing, presented the defense's argument. That was strange not only because the defense hadn't presented their argument yet but also because the defense argument was a strange one. After the defense had made the argument,
Andy Mosher (Washington Post) would quote the go-to-military law expert for the press, Eugene Fidell stating, "This is not a defense known to the law. But this kind of evidence could come in during the court-martial, and it might be pertinent to the sentence. They could be setting the stage to avoid a death penalty." Wow. So will Robert F. Worth and Carolyn Marshall ever be asked to explain how they offered the defense -- excuse me, how they made the defense argument in an alleged article of reporting? They didn't quote the defense. They didn't have to. They didn't present this as an argument, they presented it as what happened.
Talk about great reporting, Robert and Carolyn knew the defense's strategy before the defense revealed it. Or, possibly, lazy writers like Robert need someone to present them with a framework to put their easy conclusions into. So it's Rita Katz or it's whispers (uncredited in the article) from the defense. Once upon a time, if you presented the defense's case (before they did) in an article, if you made their case or tried to in what supposed to be a report, your editor would ask you who your source was. And if your source was the defense, if you were turning over your space in the paper to allow the defense to fight their case and you weren't even noting that you'd gotten this from the defense, you'd be out of a job. Rita Katz is the 'answer' for reporters who don't like questions and don't like doing real work. Just run with what Rita tells you and try to ignore the long, long history of grudge f**king she's done to that region and that she'll never get over Daddy being executed for being an Israeli spy.
And that suspect motive (I say her entire motive for breathing), but that suspect motive, that used to be enough to get you considered questionable as a source. And that's before you go on 60 Minutes pretending to be someone other than who you are.
It says a great deal about the lack of standards on the part of AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times and others using Rita's 'reports' and 'information.' It also says a great deal about their Islamophobia. And let's be very clear that we have objected to this for years publicly and we're not the only ones. When history reviews this time period and recoils in disgust at the witch hunts which took place, when those news outlets try to pretend that it was 'normal' and complaints were never raised about Rita Katz and her demented "Terrorist! Everywhere!" (she's sort of like Eleanor Abernathy, the crazy cat lady on The Simpsons), let it be known that those outlets are liars and that they were urged repeatedly to stop using the work of a woman who was well and widely known for her prejudice against Muslims. They were urged to but they chose to continue to use it and they made sure that they participated in this modern day McCarthyism. They'll try to turn Rita Katz into the great villain when they're the people who give her the megaphone.
Standards don't matter when the press is feeling frisky and wants to play. Charles Duelfer recalls (at the Washington Post) how a press corps entertaining itself (my description, not his) ended up having real world consequences on Iraq. He concludes his piece with: "It is worth recalling this today as we discuss equally signficant decisions regarding Iran and, in many ways, are equally ignorant about Iranian leadership -- and vice versa." Also worried about how the press could influence a war on Iran, Reza Marashi and Trita Parsi (Huffington Post) stress the need for the media to explore:
According to the Congressional Research Service, total war-related funding for Iraq hasexceeded $800 billion -- an average of approximately $100 billion per year. With these numbers in mind -- and at a time of over 8 percent unemployment and unprecedented government bailouts -- how will we pay for a war with Iran?
Looking back at America's recent wars, the American people trusted that their elected leaders accurately assessed the pros and cons of their policies. It didn't take long before protracted quagmires collapsed that trust. With the notable exception of neoconservatives, most Americans eventually realized the sad truth: their leaders didn't have a plan beyond bombing; they knew little if anything about the country in question; and they failed to conduct a realistic cost assessment -- in both blood and treasure -- of the endeavor. By the time Americans realized all of this, the damage had already been done.
Avoiding another war of choice will require a media that digs beyond agenda-driven analysis and prevents the debate from being curtailed. It will require a media that doesn't permit a question of life and death to be framed in a simplistic manner that leaves the U.S. with a false choice of either bombing Iran or accepting an Iranian bomb. It is the responsibility of reporters -- not congressmen, senators, neoconservatives or foreign governments -- to not only get answers to their questions, but also to define the questions properly.
On Iraq, the mainstream media did not ask the right questions until disaster was a reality. On Iran, those questions need to be asked now so that disaster can be avoided.