David's Iraq update

From: Phil Chappell (phil_chappell@access.inet.co.th)
Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 05:54:16 PDT

As we here in Thailand witness the "CEO" of the country authorise the
slaying of 100's of "Muslim separatists" (who he discarded as
"mindless" narcotic-using teenagers), I find, again, the media machine
to be a completely confusing tool. Statistics (from David's report)
mean nothing. What is chosen as "news of the day" is far from
representative. And a small report I read a few days ago that the
Jordanian government foiled "Al Quaeda" attempts to use chemical
weapons that had the potential to kill 20,000 people goes ignored.

The machinery rumbles on.

David wrote (and I am still not at liberty to receive this direct from
the list):

Following the call of Mike to move to more contemporary issues. I read
  today in Haaretz:

"Remember Falluja
  By Orit Shohat

  During the first two weeks of this month, the American army committed
  war crimes in Falluja on a scale unprecedented for this war. According
  to the relatively few media reports of what took place there, some 600
  Iraqis were killed during these two weeks, among them some 450 elderly
  people, women and children.
  The sight of decapitated children, the rows of dead women and the
  shocking pictures of the soccer stadium that was turned into a
  temporary grave for hundreds of the slain - all were broadcast to the
  world only by the Al Jazeera network. During the operation in Falluja,
  according to the organization Doctors Without Borders, U.S. Marines
  even occupied the hospitals and prevented hundreds of the wounded from
  receiving medical treatment. Snipers fired from the rooftops at anyone
  who tried to approach.

This was a retaliatory operation, carried out by the Marines,
  accompanied by F-16 fighter planes and assault helicopters, under the
  code name "Vigilant Resolve." It was revenge for the killing of four
  American security guards on March 31. But while the killing of the
  guards, whose bodies were dragged through the streets of the city and
  then hung from a bridge, received wide media coverage, and thus
  prepared hearts and minds for the military revenge, the hundreds of
  victims of the American retaliation were practically a military secret.

The only conclusion that has been drawn thus far from the
  indiscriminate killing in Falluja is the expulsion of Al Jazeera from
  the city. Since the start of the war, the Americans have persecuted
  the network's journalists - not because they report lies, but because
  they are virtually the only ones who manage to report the truth. The
  Bush administration, in cooperation with the American media, is trying
  to hide the sights of war from the world, and particularly from
  American voters."

At the same time CNN publishes today:

"Iraqis polled: War did more harm than good but worth it

Nearly half the Iraqis polled in a survey conducted primarily in March
  and early April said they believed the U.S.-led war had done more harm
  than good, but 61 percent of respondents said Saddam Hussein's ouster
  made it worth any hardships. Iraqi interviewers polled 3,444 residents
  between March 22 and April 9."

Am I missing something here?! What is a rumor and what is a truth? How
  should we behave as world citizens and CHAT theorists now? I read at
  CNN also that Ted Koppel will read the names of the American soldiers
  killed in Irak next days in Nightline. Would reading the names and
  faces of civilians do any effect?

Sorry if I went too contemporary...


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