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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #186 - 6 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. News about Iraq goes through filters (
   2. Did US military kill journalists in Iraq? (
   3. US media corrupt or incompetent? (
   4. Andy Martin on the looting of Iraq (
   5. FWD. Accomplices in War Crimes (
   6. Ramadi - the Next Fallujah (farbuthnot)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 07:06:34 EST
Subject: News about Iraq goes through filters

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

News  about Iraq goes through filters


February 17, 2005 -How is  it that more than 40 percent of Americans still
believe Iraq has weapons  of mass destruction even though President Bush
personally has admitted  there are none?

How is it possible that millions of Americans  believe the recent election in
Iraq showed that Iraqis are in favor of the  ongoing occupation of their
country? In reality, the determination  displayed by the roughly 59 percent of
registered voters who participated  in the election did so because they felt it
would bring about an end to  the U.S. occupation.

How do so many Americans wonder why more  Iraqis each day are supporting both
violent and non-violent movements of  resistance to the occupation when after
the U.S. government promised to  help rebuild Iraq, a mere 2 percent of
reconstruction contracts were  awarded to Iraqi concerns and the infrastructure
lies in shambles?

It's because overall, mainstream media reportage in the United  States about
the occupation in Iraq is being censured, distorted,  threatened by the
military and controlled by corporations that own the  outlets.

Recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos,  Switzerland, Eason Jordan, a
CNN executive, told a panel that the U.S.  military deliberately targeted
journalists in Iraq. He said he "knew of  about 12 journalists who had not only
been killed by American troops, but  had been targeted as a matter of policy,"
said Rep. Barney Frank, a  Democrat from Massachusetts who was on the panel
with Jordan.

When  we hear this statement with the knowledge that 63 journalists have been
 killed in Iraq, in addition to the fact that in a 14-month-period, more
journalists were killed in Iraq than during the entire Vietnam War, one  begins
to get the feeling that the military clampdown on the media is more  than a
myth or a conspiracy theory.

(Editor's note: Jordan has  since resigned from CNN, telling fellow CNN
staffers: "I never meant to  imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S.
forces accidentally  killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I
said or  believed otherwise.")

I've personally witnessed photographers in  Baghdad who have had their
cameras either confiscated or smashed by  soldiers, who were, of course, acting on
orders from their superiors. And  no, the journalists weren't trying to
photograph something that would  jeopardize the security of the soldiers.

Even Christiane Amanpour,  CNN's top war correspondent, announced on national
television that her own  network was censuring her journalism.

Most Americans don't know  that on any given day, an average of three U.S.
soldiers die in Iraq as a  result of 75 attacks every single day on U.S. forces
or that Iraqi  civilian deaths average 10 times that amount.

Most Americans also  don't know there are four permanent U.S. military bases
in Iraq, with the  Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root diligently
constructing 10  others.

Most Americans don't know overall troop morale in Iraq  resembles that of the
Vietnam War, with tours being extended and stop-loss  orders imposed.

Nor do most folks know where billions of their tax  dollars have been spent
that were supposed to be used in the  reconstruction of Iraq.

But who can blame Americans when the  military and mainstream media continue,
day in and day out, to distort,  deny and destroy the truth before it reaches
the audience back home? An  international peoples' initiative called the
World Tribunal on Iraq met in  Rome to focus on media complicity in the crimes
committed against the  people of Iraq as well as U.S. citizens who are paying
with their blood  and tax dollars to maintain the occupation. The tribunal found
Western  mainstream media outlets guilty of incitement to violence and the
deliberate misleading of people into the war and ongoing occupation of  Iraq.

Makes you wonder what else Americans aren't being told about  Iraq. After
spending eight of the past 14 months reporting from Iraq, I  can tell you the
points made here are just the tip of the iceberg.

Dahr Jamail, an independent reporter covering the Iraq war, has  several
current speaking engagements in Western Washington. For more info,  go to (</i>)


Message: 2
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 07:14:04 EST
Subject: Did US military kill journalists in Iraq?

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Did  US Military Kill Journalists in Iraq?

Danny  Schechter, tervention  Magazine

What is needed is an  independent investigation by a team of reporters to
determine if the U.S.  military targeted journalists in Iraq.

Wednesday, February  16, 2005

When Dan Rather was caught in a crossfire after the  expose of a dodgy
document used in a TV report, there was an undercurrent  of sympathy based =
on the
widespread feeling that the questioning of  President's Bush=E2=80=99s mili=
tary service
was basically true.

Sadly, it  didn't seem to matter.

The story flamed out along with much of  Rather=E2=80=99s reputation.

No media outlets had the guts to pursue it.

Now, we have a new case of demolition by media in the shattered  career of
CNN's Eason Jordan. His "off the record" claim that journalists  were kille=
d by
the US military in Iraq boomeranged into a character  assassination and cho=
of patriotic breast-beating.

Without  anyone knowing what he said -- the transcript has not been made
public --  Fox News and its sisters in =E2=80=9Cstruggle=E2=80=9D at the Ne=
w York Post led the
charge  holding CNN responsible for the comments of its executive with shri=
accusations of =E2=80=9Csliming our troops.=E2=80=9D (They, of course, had =
no  self-interest
in discrediting the competition!)

After a BSunami  (blog storm) of derision and pressure rocked the network,
Jordan was the  next to go, following in the tucked-tail footsteps of Peter
Arnett and two  top executives of BBC who stepped down when their critical
journalism on  the war was questioned. (Arnett and BBC Director Greg Dyke h=
subsequently been vindicated by the facts but no one seems to care.)

As my colleague, Tim Karr put it: =E2=80=9COne thing his  =
makes clear: hunting down journalists -- not in Iraq, but on the  net -- ha=
become the newest bloodsport.=E2=80=9D An editor of the World  Association =
Newspapers in Paris condemned the pile-on as a case of  intolerance and McC=
Even the Wall Street Journal criticized the  baiting.

As for Jordan, it=E2=80=99s widely assumed in the bubble of a  parochial an=
compliant media that there was no basis for his concern.  Most commentators=
 seem in
denial, dismissing any suggestion of US  complicity in media deaths as a
preposterous invention.

In our  unbrave media world no one defended a charge that seemed on the
surface  indefensible.

The operative phrase here is =E2=80=9Con the surface.=E2=80=9D  Because, on=
ce you delve more
deeply under the surface into the swamp of  the Pentagon=E2=80=99s insidiou=
s media
management and information-dominance  strategies, official contempt for
independent journalism and non-embedded  reporters is evident.

Corporate media outlets that cheered for the  war can=E2=80=99t see that, o=
f course,
despite the many mea-culpas we have heard  about flawed reporting and
uncritical coverage by The New York Times, The  Washington Post and three n=
etwork news
presidents. They=E2=80=99ve drunk the Kool  Aid.

CNN buckled under withering attack showing clearly that you  cannot even
raise the possibility of US government abuses in Iraq without  being demoni=
zed --
unless, as in the case of Abu Ghraib, you have  pictures.

It is well known that the US military was hostile to  =E2=80=9Cunilateral=
=E2=80=9D reporting
from Iraq and that journalists were warned,  threatened, intimidated and,
yes, killed by not so =E2=80=9Cfriendly fire.=E2=80=9D After  two journalis=
ts died April 8th
2003 at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel after a  tank shell was lobbed into a hot=
known by the Pentagon as a media site,  Reuters called for an independent
investigation. The International  Federation of Journalists angrily demande=
d a real

Not only  were they ignored but other media companies would not even join
their  call. I dissect the incident in my film WMD (Weapons of Mass Decepti=
with five footage sources, interviewing a Reuters reporter who survived  an=
believes her non-embedded team was =E2=80=9Ctargeted.=E2=80=9D

On the same day  Al Jazeera bureau chief Tareq Ayoub was killed when a US
plane rocketed  Arab Media offices whose coordinates had been provided to t=
Pentagon.  There has been no probe or apology. This list goes on.

Phillip  Knightly, a top historian on war and media writes in scholar David
Miller=E2=80=99s Tell Me Lies about propaganda in Iraq that =E2=80=9Cthere =
will be no
investigations. I believe that the occasional shots fired at media sites  a=
re not
accidental and that war correspondents will now be targeted.=E2=80=9D

As a former CNN producer and =E2=80=9CTurner turnover,=E2=80=9D I find this=
chilling of debate and the real issue of how the US military spun  media co=
verage of
the war and why the networks went along. Many covering  Iraq -- not just
Jordan -- believe journalists were targeted.

The  citizens-initiated World Tribunal on Iraq which met in Rome last weeke=
 asks a question that can't be dismissed: =E2=80=9CAre Mr. Jordan's claims =
 It joined =E2=80=9Cthe calls by international media groups and the  famili=
es of dead
journalists for a full independent investigation by an  international team =
reporters who should be given the right to question  members of the militar=

Their conclusion is one our media should  embrace: =E2=80=9CWe demand that =
outlets stop impugning the integrity of  journalists who raise these questi=
ons and
that CNN examine the charges  raised by its former head of news.=E2=80=9D

Former network producer Danny  Schechter edits and directe=
Weapons of Mass Deception

:: Article nr. 9725 sent on 17-feb-2005  02:08 ECT

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Message: 3
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 04:39:33 EST
Subject: US media corrupt or incompetent?

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

New  Documentary Blasts US News 'Journalism' In Iraq
Embedded In The Spin  Cycle...

Isaac  Backer

NEW YORK, February  16, 2005 (IPS) - An incisive new documentary is taking
aim at the U.S.  media's one-sided coverage of the war in Iraq, arguing that its
collective  complicity deceived the populace and made the war possible.

"WMD:  Weapons of Mass Deception", which cost just 200,000 dollars to
produce,  points to a wide array of failures in the accuracy of the reporting, as
well as an unwillingness to question the George W. Bush administration's  claims
and actions.

It was produced by Danny Schechter, a  self-proclaimed "network refugee" who
worked for CNN and as a producer for  a prominent television news show.

"This is the central problem of  our democracy," he told IPS in an interview.
"This isn't a sidebar issue.  You can't have a democracy when people aren't
being informed."

The  film documents the U.S. media's near-unanimous acceptance of the George
W.  Bush administration's claim that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed
nefarious weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and therefore must be removed
from power by unilateral U.S. military action.

The film also  attacks the media's credulity of alleged links between Hussein
and the  al-Qaeda terrorist network -- claims that were unsupported by any
actual  evidence.

"The fact that they [the media] allowed the Bush  administration to
manipulate the truth so grossly and so nakedly in the  run-up to the war made the war
possible," Eric Alterman, media critic and  writer for the Nation magazine,
says in the film.

Schechter told  IPS he was disturbed at the adherence to the government's
line and lack of  journalistic questioning among U.S. news outlets before and
during the  Iraq war, a time he calls "a really shameful period for journalism."

"It hints at the emergence of a state media system in our  country," he said.

The film references a study by the media  watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting (FAIR) of on-camera sources  used in television news in the run-up to
the war. Out of 1,167 experts  brought on camera during news broadcasts, the
study shows, only three  percent opposed the U.S.-led invasion.

"You had this incredible  imbalance where people who were critical couldn't
be heard," he said.

The film argues that this marginalisation of dissent and the  media's refusal
to question the war in Iraq was in part due to journalists  and networks fear
of being seen as "unpatriotic."

"In the post  9/11 media there was a lot of patriotic political correctness,"
Schechter  said. "You have a president who says, 'You're either with us or
with the  terrorists,' so if you criticise him you're with the terrorists. This
created an intimidating environment."

One aspect of the "media  war" the film deals with in detail is the vast
number of "embedded"  reporters in Iraq, a policy that Schechter says led to
jingoistic  coverage.

An embedded reporter eats, sleeps, and lives every day  with a specific group
of U.S. troops. The policy was championed by the  Pentagon media chief
Victoria Clarke and other public relations experts in  the Defence Department, who
had been planning it before the war started.

The film argues that since an embedded reporter's life is  essentially in the
hands of the soldiers, and they spend so much time  together under extreme
circumstances, the reporter grows attached to the  troops. The bond that is
formed jeopardises the reporter's ability to be  accurate and objective and leads
to cheerleading instead of critical  journalism, Schechter says.

In the film, several embedded  journalists talk about their experiences on
the front.

"We got to  know these soldiers and we wanted them to be successful," says
Gwendolen  Cates, a reporter for People magazine who was embedded with U.S.
troops in  Iraq. "How will I be able to handle it if one of my soldiers dies?"

Schechter believes that the problem of media irresponsibility goes  deeper
than just a few journalists or networks who reported the war in a  biased

"It's hard to get people to see this as an  institutional problem," Schechter
told IPS. "They focus first on policy  failure, second on intelligence
failure. I'm saying no, it's a media  failure."

"WMD" has already received international acclaim and is  being screened at
theatres from Scotland to Australia. It won the Austin  Film Festival and Denver
Film Festival Awards for best documentary.

However, the documentary has also seen its share of criticism,  much of it
from the very U.S. media corporations and outlets the film  targets.

Some critics have argued that Schechter's film is a poor  spin-off of Michael
Moore's 2004 high-grossing documentary "Fahrenheit  9/11." Vanity Fair
magazine said Schechter was merely trying to "out  Michael Moore Michael Moore."

Schechter, however, was quick to  point out to IPS that he made his first
documentary in 1968, years before  Moore's debut.

The film is scheduled to come out on DVD in March  to coincide with the
second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

:: Article nr. 9748 sent on 17-feb-2005  23:33 ECT

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Message: 4
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 13:58:43 EST
Subject: Andy Martin on the looting of Iraq

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]



(SAN  FRANCISCO)(February 19, 2005) I have never met Paul Bremer. Yet like a
criminal  investigator I have stalked him across Iraq for the past 2-1/2
years. In Baghdad  I kept my distance from the "Coalition Provisional Authority." I
immediately  felt this organization would be a disaster, and I was right.

Since his  return to the United States last June Bremer has tried to
disassociate himself  from his own record. Yet there is now no doubt that Iraq was
systematically  looted under Bremer's administration. Like a piano player in a
frontier saloon,  Bremer claims to be ignorant of what was going on in the hotel
rooms above. But  he cannot escape responsibility and liability so easily.

President Bush  stated that we would treat Iraqi oil money as a solemn trust
to be disbursed  solely for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Now nine billion
dollars of Iraqi  funds are missing. Over forty cents ($.40) of every Iraqi
dollar supervised by  the United States is unaccounted for.

Every large organization maintains  "petty cash" accounts. Occasionally a
"bookkeeper" will embezzle funds, from a  bank. MCI officials are on trial in New
York for inflating their financial  records by more than $10 billion. But $9
billion missing? This has to be the  greatest robbery in history. And it took
place under Bremer's nose.

In a  little-noticed lawsuit pending in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia
a bogus  operation calling itself "Custer Battles LLC" and managed by a
former Republican  candidate for congress was paid millions of dollars in cash.
Again Bremer claims  to be ignorant of this defalcation as well.

Bremer says "Western"  accounting methods were impossible in Iraq because it
was a war zone. When  Bremer arrived in May 2003 Baghdad was quiet. President
Bush had just proclaimed  "Mission Accomplished," the roads were safe and
violence was at a  minimum.

The fact that the United States has lost forty cents of every  Iraqi dollar
Bremer administered is a disgrace. Why did President Bush award  Bremer a
"Medal of Freedom" for this mass incompetence and corruption? Where is  the missing
money? The magnitude of the defalcated funds staggers. Nine billion  dollars?
Millions of dollars paid out in cash to suspect characters?

And  now the United States Government claims in a federal court it needs more
than a  month to explain how Bremer came to me in Iraq and who conferred
authority on  him. How can Attorney General Gonzales plead ignorance? Wasn't Mr.
Gonzales--who  worked in the White House--watching TV or reading the
newspapers? Bremer was  appointed by the United States; he was Rumsfeld's man, the
neo-con "man on a  wedding cake" as I characterized him in my reporting from
Baghdad. How can  federal attorneys now plead ignorance of our role in Iraq, and
seek to shuffle  the blame on Britain, Poland and maybe Tonga as well? Lawyers
sometimes make  their clients look like asses; this is one of those occasions.

President  Bush must take decisive action to revoke Bremer's medal, and to
demand an  independent counsel (special prosecutor) or he will find the United
States  increasingly isolated as a predatory and unscrupulous nation of thieves
who  looted Iraq while mouthing pious platitudes about trust and
responsibility. The  credibility of our nation has been undermined by Bremer; he has
disgraced the  United States.

Iraq has been boldly and blatantly looted. Who is  responsible? Bremer, and
who else? "Custer Battles" is making a "last stand" in  a federal court in
Virginia. What about Bremer's last stand? He destroyed Iraq.  Now he is under the
gun. It is a shameful episode in our history, and it will  only lead to more
embarrassment and more disasters. Attorney General Gonzales,  President Bush,
are you  listening?

Andy Martin, a Middle  East expert with 33 years experience in the region, is
America's most respected  independent foreign policy analyst. He has served
as Baghdad Bureau Chief for since April, 2003. See (Govt &
Politics, Featured  Writers). Martin began a series of columns attacking Bremer
and his  mismanagement of Iraq in June, 2003. Martin is also independent
Contrarian  Columnist for Media contact: (866) 706-2639; E-mail:


Message: 5
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 16:36:43 EST
Subject:   FWD. Accomplices in War Crimes

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Accomplices  in War Crimes

Ghali  Hassan

February 21, 2005 -  "Information Clearing House" - - Worldwide polls
conducted before  and during the US war on Iraq, revealed clear majority of=
public opinion opposed the US war without UN approval. However,  polls cond=
during and after the war found that only a minority  of US citizens were
aware of this. A significant majority of  Americans believed that Iraq had =
to al-Qaeda and Iraq involved  in the 9/11 attacks. Further, before the war
overwhelming majorities  believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD=
)  [1].

Despite numerous reports clearing Iraq from any link to  al-Qaeda and
involvement in 9/11 attacks, or in procession of WMD,  the numbers of Ameri=
supporting the war remain almost the same.  Even President Bush has publicl=
admitted =E2=80=98there are no WMD in  Iraq=E2=80=99. Yet recent US poll co=
nducted by Scripps
Howard News Service  and the Ohio University reveals that 47 percent of US =
 approved of the war against the Iraqi people compared with 44  percent.

How these misperceptions developed and persisted  when all the allegations
against Iraq proved to be fabricated lies?  This distortion of the truth is=
to the fantastic performance of  Western mainstream media. The best
description of it is that it is  the =E2=80=98art of deceiving the public=
=E2=80=99 [2]. Together with
the  governments, mainstream media, led by Britain, the US and Australia,
managed a campaign of deception and lies in order to soften the  public to =
an illegal act of aggression against the  defenceless people of Iraq.

Despite the horrific crimes and  wanton destruction caused by an illegal ac=
of aggression and  Occupation, mainstream media continues to promote the
Occupation of  Iraq as a =E2=80=9Chumanitarian=E2=80=9D act. And ignoring i=
nternational law
experts  who have substantiated that the war was an =E2=80=9Cillegal=E2=80=
=9D act of  aggression
against the Iraqi people. Major mainstream media  particularly in Britain a=
the US have deliberately failed to  inform their citizens that the war on I=
is not sanctioned by the  UN, and therefore was illegal and in violations o=
f UN

In Britain, the BBC, the mother of all acts of  deception, led and is still
leading the chorus of mainstream media  deception in its war against the pe=
of Iraq. A study by the  Cardiff School of Journalism found that the BBC
followed a more  pro-government line than its commercial rivals. It stated =
the  BBC was more likely to unquestioningly relay false stories such as  th=
non-existent scud missiles supposedly fired into Kuwait in the  early stage=
s of
the war as well as the mythical Basra =E2=80=98uprising=E2=80=99.  The stud=
y also made
reference to Tony Blair claim that captured  British soldiers had been exec=
uted by
the Iraqi authorities; a claim  the British Government retracted the next d=
but not the BBC.  Professor Justin Lewis, the study leader concluded that t=
BBC is  leading the way in its support for the British Government pro-war
propaganda [3], and failing its responsibility to the people. By  contrast,=
Germany, the public broadcasters' ARD and ZDF provide  more balanced covera=
ge of
the event than the commercial RTL=E2=80=9D,  writes, David Ward of the Cent=
re for
Media Policy and Development  [4].

A second study of the media was carried out by the Media  Tenor group (cite=
in David Ward), which looked at the performance  of different broadcasters =
five countries, found that the BBC gave  least airtime to anti-war views wi=
just 2% of airtime given over  to opponents of the war. By contrast the
American ABC gave 7% of  airtime over to anti-war views [4]. This is fright=
because many  people around the world, including the British people, follow=
world events (i.e. wars) on the BBC.

In the US, the  cheerleaders of the war on Iraq are America=E2=80=99s bigge=
st: Fox,
CBS,  ABC, CNN and NBC, followed by the print media and National Public  Ra=
(NPR). =E2=80=9CAmerican had these misperceptions not simply because  of in=
biases but because of the important role being played by  variations of the
stimuli they received from their mainstream  media=E2=80=9D, writes Steven =
Kull, of the
University of Maryland.

A  study conducted by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) found  that t=
pro-war views on the major networks were overwhelmingly  more frequent than
the anti-war views. The role of the major media  network is to promote the
government policy rather than serve the  community and provide balance repo=
Like the selling of the  war, and the destruction of the vibrant city of
Fallujah, the  continue Occupation of Iraq by US and British forces is sold=
mainstream media and journalists as democracy under occupation. It  is a li=
e that
brings only more suffering and misery to the Iraqi  people.

Journalists have failed in their moral responsibility  and principles to
protect the truth. With the exception of  honourable few, Western journalis=
ts and
correspondents are relegated  to =E2=80=98embedded=E2=80=99 propaganda agen=
ts serving the
interests of imperial  power. =E2=80=9CJournalists are supposed to perform =
a watchdog
function, not  a lapdog function=E2=80=9D, said Danny Schechter, editor of, and a former journalist with CNN and ABC. Those  who woul=
dn't toe the
line were swiftly dismissed, if not  deliberately killed to eliminate any
witnesses to US-Britain crimes  in Iraq. =E2=80=9CAt least 12 journalists=
=E2=80=9D were killed by US
military in  Iraq, reported Dominic Timms of the Guardian on 18 February

Here in Australia, the media plays its most vital role  in keeping the
Australian people well entertained and poorly  informed. The Government of =
Mr. John
Howard (the most insignificant  of the =E2=80=9Ccoalition of the willing=E2=
=80=9D) managed to
cover-up Australia=E2=80=99s  role in the war, and Australia=E2=80=99s invo=
lvement in the
imprisonment,  torture and murder of innocent Iraqi prisoners and detainees=
. It
is  reported recently that Australian interrogators were involved in the
murder of a well-known Iraqi scientist during interrogation. This is  natur=
Australia has the most controlled and the most deceptive  media in the West=
world. The Australian John Pilger described the  media here accurately as a=
small fishpond=E2=80=99 with only very few large  white sharks swimming fre=
ely at the
expense of the Australian  people=E2=80=99s interests. With no independent =
media and a
foreign policy  subservient to US interests, Australia is virtually a propa=
 outpost for US imperialism.

The purpose of this imperialist  propaganda is to deny the Iraqi people the=
rights to rule their  country by themselves. Omitted by the mainstream medi=
is how Iraqis  are arrested abused and murdered at ease by soldiers of
coalition  forces and mercenaries. The Iraqi National Resistance against th=
Occupation is portrayed as a band of =E2=80=9Csuicide bombers=E2=80=9D. Lik=
e in  Israel, =E2=80=9Csuicide
bombing=E2=80=9D is promoted and amplified in mainstream  media in order to=
the name and image of people=E2=80=99s struggle,  including the Iraqi Resis=
struggle, against the injustice of  foreign occupations. As John Pilger wri=
tes, =E2=80=9C
Those who kill people  with car bombs are =E2=80=98terrorists=E2=80=99; tho=
se who kill far more
people with  cluster bombs are the noble occupants of a =E2=80=98quagmire=
=E2=80=99=E2=80=9D. Reports
from  Iraq have contradicted this distorted image of a legitimate popular
Resistance movement fighting against illegal and tyrannical  occupation [5]=
Furthermore, Article 51 of the UN Charter guarantees  resistance against fo=

Despite the chaotic  situation wrought by the tyrannical nature of the
Occupation, the  mainstream media alleged that Iraq is now on its way to =
and =E2=80=9Cdemocracy=E2=80=9D. The new front is Syria and Iran. The drumb=
eats of  war
against Syria and Iran have already begun. After the  assassination of Rafi=
al-Hariri, former Lebanese prime minister,  Western mainstream media immedi=
pointed the finger at Syria,  not Israel that stands to benefit from any cr=
in Lebanon, and is  probably responsible for Mr. Al-Hariri=E2=80=99s assass=
Israel=E2=80=99s  crimes and terror are taboos in Western mainstream media.=
al-Hariri's death is part of the US-Israel plan to divide the region  and w=
eaken the
unity of its peoples. The pretexts for war are the  same. Nothing has chang=
It is as if war is replacing peace and  death is replacing life for those
living outside the empire and its  peripheries.

Last October, the prestigious British medical  journal The Lancet published=
study by a team of Johns Hopkins  University, Al-Mustansiriyah University i=
Baghdad and Columbia  University researchers showing that over 100,000 Iraq=
civilians had  been killed since the war began in March 2003. The study, wh=
was  a conservative estimates, had very short life and generally  dismissed
and ignored by Western mainstream media. Dr. Les Roberts,  the researcher a=
John Hopkins University and the lead author of the  study expected the publ=
response to his study to be =E2=80=9Cmoral  outrage=E2=80=9D; instead he wa=
s shocked by the
muted or dismissive  reception. Can you imagine what the response will be t=
100,000  civilians dead in New York or in London?

=E2=80=9CFor years, the  neocons=E2=80=99 [new euphemism for Americano fasc=
ists] push for
war against  Iraq was largely uncovered by the US media. For even longer, t=
neocons=E2=80=99 close connections to Israel have gone largely unmentioned =
mainstream American news reports. As a result, very few Americans  know to =
what degree
many of those responsible for the tragic US  invasion and occupation of Ira=
have been motivated by Israeli  concerns. The omission in coverage of Iraq =
been profoundly  disastrous, both for the Middle East and for Americans=E2=
writes  Alison Weir of If Americans Knew. The true function of the media is=
tell the truth and to hold accountable those in power.

The  fact that mainstream media has had some roles in promoting illegal  wa=
of aggression, particularly the US-Britain war against Iraq, is  enough to
suggest that the media failed its true function and is  complicit in war cr=
and =E2=80=98crimes against  humanity=E2=80=99.

According to the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), an  international peoples
initiative investigating the truth about the  US war against and occupation=
Iraq, found that mainstream media  reporting on Iraq violated the principle=
s of
Article (6) of the  Nuremberg Tribunal. Article (6) of the Nuremberg Tribun=
set to  investigate crimes committed by the Nazis stated that: =E2=80=9CLea=
organisers, instigators and accomplices participating in the  formulation o=
execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit  any of the foregoing cr=
(crimes against peace, war crimes and  crimes against humanity) are respons=
for all acts performed by  any persons in execution of such a plan=E2=80=9D=
. Dr. Tony
Alessandrini, a  human rights activist and one of the organiser of the WTI =
the  meeting in Rome, Italy, that =E2=80=98evidence of active complicity of=
mainstream media in wrongs committed against the people of Iraq, and  the w=
rongs of
deception and incitement, was now overwhelming=E2=80=99,  reported IPS news=
 on 14
February 2004.

No matter what, the  responsibility of aggression and violence reverts on t=
leaders and  their accomplices who waged an illegal war, which was rejected
by  the majority of the world community. Mainstream media shares
responsibility and should be held accountable for the lies they  promoted a=
nd for failing
in their duty to honestly inform the  public.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth Western Australia. He  can be reached at e-mail=
:  _ (


[1]. Steven Kull et al.  (2003-2004). Misperceptions, the Media, and the Ir=
War. Political  Science Quarterly, Vol. 118 (4). _http://www.psqonline.org_

[2]. Mark Curtis.  (2004). =E2=80=98Unpeople=E2=80=99. London: Vintage.

[3]. Justin Lewis.  (2004). Television, Public Opinion and the War in Iraq:
The Case of  Britain Int. J. Pub. Opinion Res. Vol. 16 (3), 295-310.

[4].  David Ward. (2004). Public Service Broadcasting in Europe and the
Coverage of the Iraq War. 14th JAMCO International Symposium.
_ (

[5].  Molly Bingham, Boston Globe, 15 December 2004.

Copyright =C2=A9  Information Clearing House. All rights reserved. You may
republish  under the following conditions: An active link to the original
publication must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove any  text =
within the
article, including this copyright  notice.

:: Article nr. 9868 sent on 21-feb-2005  20:42 ECT

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Message: 6
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 10:51:19 +0000
Subject: Ramadi - the Next Fallujah
From: "farbuthnot" <>

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Will the accountless slaughterers ever stand in the dock with Iraq's
illegally disappeared government I wonder. Or has America's President
ditched Nuremburg's rulings along with all the other painstakingly worked
treaties and conventions he has discarded. f.a.

Marines Launch Bid to Secure Iraq City of RamadiSun Feb 20, 2005 07:06 AM E=
Printer Friendly=A0| Email Article=A0| Reprints=A0| RSS=A0  (Page 1 of 2)  =
More story pictures

By Majid Hameed
RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi troops launched a large-scale
operation around the rebellious city of Ramadi on Sunday, as part of a
nationwide effort to restore order in the wake of last month's election.
Troops from the 1st Marine expeditionary force, supported by Iraqi soldiers=
set up a ring of checkpoints around the city, 70 miles west of Baghdad, and
imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew under Operation River Blitz.
The move comes less than three months after a major Marines offensive
against the former rebel stronghold of Falluja, just east of Ramadi, which
the U.S. military took back from insurgents after three weeks of furious
It was not clear if Sunday's operation was a prelude to a larger offensive
on Ramadi, which has essentially been in guerrilla hands for most of the
past year.
The operation also comes as Iraq is in the process of trying to form a
government following the Jan. 30 election, which handed power to the
country's 60 percent Shi'ite majority for the first time after decades of
Sunni Muslim dominance.
"Operation River Blitz is designed to target insurgents and terrorists who
have attempted to destabilize the Anbar province by terrorizing the populac=
through wanton acts of violence and intimidation," the U.S. military said i=
a statement.
"We were asked by the Iraqi government to increase our security operations
in the city to locate, isolate and defeat anti-Iraqi forces and terrorists,=
said Major General Richard Natonski, commander of the 1st Marines
expeditionary force.
The operation comes after a series of suicide bombings and other attacks on
Shi'ite Muslims marking Ashura, the most important day in the Shi'ite
religious calendar, in which at least 50 Shi'ites were killed in two days o=
The attacks are believed to have been the work of Sunni Muslim militants
determined to foment sectarian division among Iraqis and drive the country
toward civil war.
Ramadi -- a city of several hundred thousand people -- Falluja and the whol=
of Iraq's vast western Anbar province, which stretches to the borders with
Jordan and Syria, have been a hotbed of the insurgency over the past 18
Natonski described the militants in Ramadi as "intent on preventing a
peaceful transition of power between the interim Iraqi government and the
Iraqi transitional government," which is being currently formed following
the election. =A0=A0=A0Continued ...

=A9 Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

=A0  1 | 2  =A0=A0Next

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