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[casi] More Democrocy Courtesy Kissinger Associates Viceroy Bremer

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Liberating people from their belongings, $20,000, liberating them from their
freedom and disappearing them and liberating their offices from all (just
like peoples homes etc) and saying the US regards all Iraqis as potential
combatants thus can shoot to kill at will is US idea of freedom from fear
and tyranny. Perhaps I'm just picky, missing something, obtuse, or have one
of those funny turns again.

Oh yes and is anyone accountable for their actions to a higher authority? Do
those affected get compensation (dream on) and can one assume that now
precedents have been set for ignoring yet more of the Geneva convention by
destroying heritage, ancient and modern, taking over Iraq's institutions
(what remains of them) Palaces, selling off other buildings, it's OK surely,
now to dispose of the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial, Churchill's
Statur opposite Parliament, Bomber Harris's in Fleet Street - and move into
the White House or Downing Street, flog off the Ministry of Defence (there's
an idea) you get my drift. Has a precedent been set where many fed up
nations world wide can behave the same? Dodgy actions beget dodgy
consequences I'd have thought - like the ridiculous 'war on terrorism' look
at the countries who said 'me too' and behaved disgracefully. Any excuse ...

And what about all those selling guns will be shot (including some wretched
soul in the market with an ancient Kalashnikov) doesn't the US defend the
right to bear arms to - literally - the death. Will we be seeing the same
rule applying to Alabama, Florida etc?  Best, f.

WSWS.ORG (World Socialist Website)

US occupation forces attack Iraqi journalists

By Jeremy Johnson
8 August 2003

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US occupation authorities shut down an Iraqi newspaper last month and have
stepped up the detention of journalists for reporting on the ongoing
resistance. These actions, along with many other repressive measures,
indicate the true character of the │democracy▓ and │freedom▓ the American
occupiers are bringing to the Iraqi people.
On July 21, Iraqi police accompanied by US troops broke down the front door
to the Baghdad premises of Al-Mustaqila (the Independent) newspaper,
ransacked its offices, confiscated equipment, and arrested the editor Abdul
Sattar Shalan, whose whereabouts have not been reported since. The
newspaper╣s offense was the publication of an article carrying the headline
│Death to All Spies and Those Who Cooperate with the US.▓
The article appeared on July 13, the same day as the convening of the Iraqi
Governing Council, whose members are Iraqi collaborators handpicked by the
According to a press release put out by the Coalition Provisional Authority
(CPA), as the occupation forces headed by Paul Bremer are known, the
newspaper violated the CPA╣s Order Number 14 on Prohibited Media Activity by
inciting violence. Ironically, the home page of the CPA╣s web site
prominently features a photo of Saddam Hussein and the $25 million reward
offered for information leading to his capture or death, alongside photos of
his two dead sons with Xs drawn across their heads.
Western media reports give no indication of having seen or verified the
original Al-Mustaqila article, only repeating the CPA╣s version of its
headline. However, a journalist at the newspaper said the offending article
was a news story on anti-US demonstrations in Fallujah, and the headline
quoted a Muslim cleric involved in the organization of the protest.
The CPA has given its administrator, as Bremer is officially titled,
unlimited authority under Order Number 14 │to seize any prohibited materials
and production equipment and seal off any operating premises▓ without
warning and without compensation, as well as to arrest and prosecute those
found in violation. Under the order, sentencing is to be carried out by the
│relevant authorities,▓ which can only mean the CPA itself, as there is no
functioning Iraqi judicial system. Appeals are allowed in writing only to
the administrator himself.
The closure of Al-Mustaqila follows the forced shutdown of the radio station
Sawt Bagdad (Voice of Baghdad) a month after it went on the air, because of
its ties with Mohammed Mohsen al-Zubaidi, the self-proclaimed │mayor of
Baghdad,▓ who was removed by the US forces in April. In June, occupation
forces raided the distribution center of the Shi╣ite newspaper Sadda-al-Auma
in Najaf, impounding copies of an edition that supposedly encouraged
resistance against Americans.
Al-Adala newspaper, one of several affiliated with the Shi╣ite Supreme
Council for Islamic Revolution, reported that on July 19 eighteen US
soldiers backed by six armored vehicles raided the newspaper╣s Baghdad
offices, breaking down doors, tearing up furniture, destroying copiers and
other equipment, seizing computers and even robbing several people,
including one visitor who lost $20,000.
The last few weeks have also seen the detention of numerous journalists
whose reporting has run afoul of the occupation authorities. On July 1, two
Iranian journalists filming a documentary in southern Iraq for the state-run
Iranian network were arrested, along with their interpreter and their
driver, on unspecified charges of │security violations.▓ Their belongings
were removed a week later from the hotel where they had been staying, and on
July 15, US authorities informed the Iranian consul that the reporters had
been taken to the detention center at the Baghdad airport. No further
information on the detainees╣ alleged illegal activities has been released.
On July 26, four Turkish journalists were detained for 90 minutes, and their
digital photos of soldiers were erased. On the same day, an Al-Jazeerah
satellite television network cameraman in the northern city of Mosul was
arrested along with his driver while filming an attack on American forces.
They were released the next day after going on hunger strike to protest
their arrest, but their film was confiscated. Another crew from Al-Jazeerah
was detained briefly on July 22 while filming protests against the
US-British presence.
On July 27, the Japanese journalist Kazutaka Sato was beaten by US soldiers
and detained for an hour until other journalists came to look for him. He
was grabbed while filming a US attack on a Baghdad residence thought to be
sheltering Saddam Hussein. Although Hussein was nowhere to be found, five
civilians were killed in the raid. The group Reporters Without Borders
quoted Sato as saying, │It seems they had something to hide, perhaps the
bodies of civilians.▓
In a statement released August 4, the Belgium-based International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ), which represents some 500,000 members in over 100
countries, denounced the US military crackdown on foreign journalists in
Iraq. Referring to the recent arrests, IFJ general secretary Aidan White
said, │All of these incidents are difficult to justify and reflect a new
mood of intolerance. Journalists who are not under direct military
protection are treated with suspicion and their rights are set aside. This
is unacceptable. Journalists must be able to work freelyőeven when they are
reporting a story that military people do not like.▓
The attacks on the press, both foreign and Iraqi, do not emanate simply from
the occupation regime of Paul Bremer. They are part of a policy dictated
from Washington. One goal of the arrests, harassment and shutdowns is to
warn the new media outlets springing up in Iraq to │watch what they say▓ and
engage in a form of self-censorship that makes direct government control
US deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, fresh from his tour of Iraq,
used a July 27 appearance on the Fox News network to go on the offensive.
Responding to a question from moderator Brit Hume, Wolfowitz singled out
Qatar-based Al-Jazeerah and Dubai-based Al-Arabiya for │false reporting and
very biased reporting that has the effect of inciting violence against our
troops.▓ Wolfowitz said the US was │discussing▓ the issue with Arab
governments in the Middle East.
Wolfowitz╣s real objection is to coverage that reflects the widespread anger
of the │free▓ Iraqi people over the foreign occupation of their country.
Even the compliant American media, which endlessly repeats the official
mantra that the resistance is limited to │Saddam loyalists▓ and
│Ba╣athists,▓ came in for criticism by Wolfowitz for not focusing enough on
the │success stories▓ in occupied Iraq.
The day after Wolfowitz╣s Fox News interview was aired, the two Arab
networks issued angry responses. An Al-Jazeerah statement said:
│Mischaracterizations of our reporting made by Mr. Wolfowitz and others are
a form of incitement to violence against Al-Jazeerah.▓ The statement pointed
out that its staff had been subjected to │strafing by gunfire, death
threats, confiscation of news material and multiple detentions and arrests,
all carried out by US soldiers who have never actually watched Al-Jazeerah,
but only heard about it.▓
An Al-Arabiya spokesperson described Wolfowitz╣s words as │pure slander,▓
and declared: │Wolfowitz must not expect Al-Arabiya to consider US troops as
a liberating force. They are an occupying force...▓

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