The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Hi Abi & all, There is no response till now. But I want to clarify that Sweeney's story it is just an imaginary one. What did he quote from Ali was nonsense. Who is Ali? Does he try to protect him or his family? How come! He said every thing about him, except his full name. And who is Ali's friend (a friend of a taxi driver whose son has a position in the Iraqi regime - and the son told his taxi driver dad who then told Ali who then told)! Where are his documented data and information? I ask Sweeney and whoever believes in his fake story to read (the Children are dying in Iraq) by Ramsy Clark and others published by International Action Center. There are enough data about Iraqi children mortality in UNCEF site. As a journalist, I know that a story like this must has dated documents, but Sweeney's story is just incredible, yet he knows that he is doing a good job in behalf other parts. Regards Nermin al-Mufti, Baghdad ----- Original Message ----- From: "Abi Cox" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 12:25 PM Subject: Re: [casi] The Myth of Iraq's Fake Funerals > > hi, > Does anyone know if there has been any response to Sweeney's documentary > or article in the mainstream press? I couldn't find any.. > best, > Abi > > > > > [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] > > > > <http://www.boneill.blogspot.com/2002_06_01_boneill_archive.html> > > > > Brendan O'Neill > > > > The story about Iraq storing dead babies' bodies so that it then can parade > > them through the streets in propagandistic mass funerals has united > > everyone from gore merchants to right-wing journalists to supposedly > > left-wing bloggers. Many have latched on to the dead baby claims as > > evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime is wicked beyond belief, and probably > > in need of a good bombing to bring it to its senses. But where does the > > story come from? > > > > It originated in a report by British-based journalist John Sweeney for t he > > BBC, where Sweeney writes of '...the faking of the mass baby funerals. You > > may have seen them on TV. Small white coffins parading through the streets > > of Baghdad on the roofs of taxis, an angry crowd of mourners, condemning > > western sanctions for killing the children of Iraq'. > > > > Sweeney points out that 'usefully, the ages of the dead babies - "three > > days old", "four days old" - are written in English on the coffins', before > > asking ominously 'I wonder who did that?'. He then quotes Iraqi sources > > claiming that dead babies are stored until there are enough for a fake mass > > funeral. > > > > So where did Sweeney get this information? From a man called Ali, who > > recently fled central Iraq to the relative safety of the Kurdish north, > > after being suspected of having a hand in the murder of Saddam Hussein's > > son Uday. Even Sweeney admits that Ali doesn't look like the most > > trustworthy person in the world (he's 'not exactly a contender to be the > > next Archbishop of Canterbury', and has previously been involved in > > violence), but Sweeney half-reassures his readers that 'I don't think he > > was lying to us'. > > > > However, the 'evidence' for the fake funerals doesn't even come directly > > from Ali, but from a friend of a friend of Ali's. Sweeney tells us that Ali > > is a friend of a taxi driver whose son has a position in the Iraqi regime - > > and the son told his taxi driver dad who then told Ali who then told > > Sweeney that babies are stored for mass funerals. Whatever happened to > > journalistic proof? Ali's story is nothing more than hearsay presented as > > evidence. And it is now being presented by some as further justification > > for bombing Iraq. > > > > As it happens, Sweeney was embroiled in another journalistic row earlier > > this year, when the BBC was accused by its own staff of being 'colonial' in > > the way it reported the Zimbabwe elections in March 2002. As the Guardian > > reported: > > > > 'Senior figures at the BBC World Service have expressed concern to the > > domestic news division that coverage of the Zimbabwe elections has been > > driven by a "colonial" agenda, potentially causing damage to the > > corporation's reputation for impartiality. Particular anxieties have been > > expressed about the tone of coverage on Radio 4's Today programme and about > > a Correspondent documentary in which...Sweeney smuggled himself into > > Zimbabwe in the boot of a car.' > > > > The Guardian went on: 'Sweeney appeared to suggest it was necessary to hide > > in a car to interview the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. In fact, Mr > > Tsvangirai has been interviewed many times by different BBC outlets, even > > appearing in person at Bush House.' > > > > Back to Iraq: why are so many willing to believe the dead baby story > > without the same standards of proof we would normally demand - especially > > for something so shocking? It seems that when it comes to Iraq, some people > > will buy any story. Many on the right champion reason and rationality, but > > Iraq is their blindspot, the issue on which they will trumpet anything that > > bolsters their case for invading and bombing Iraq. And in the absence of > > any hard, coherent evidence that Iraq poses a threat to the West, any old > > hearsay will do. > > > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > > To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org > > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > To contact the list manager, email email@example.com > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk