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[casi] Murder and Madness: Two Articles on Iraq

I thought I woke up this morning, but was it on the other side of the
looking glass, or perhaps I am still only dreaming.

Is the first story here a report of actual madness, or simply a return
volley in the war of propaganda? In a world where the reality that
motivates people is the subjective reality of the mind, does it matter?

As to the second report, will Col. Russell shoot those who fail to laugh
because they mourn the death of a child, or have a headache? This Col.
Russell who defended the murder by sniper of the men selling Kalashnikovs
from the trunk of their car?

A side note on this: in the current Progressive (Sept 2003) magazine, I
see in the article ~Baghda Out of Order~, by Nir Rosen, "The U.S.
occupation force has banned heavy weapons. Kalashnikovs are considered
light weapons." It seems from this that carrying them is not even the
justification for summary execution which Russell gives.

Ahhh... what to believe? Are the reports *about* satire, controlling
information and propaganda, or are they satire and propaganda themselves?
Does it matter? Have we, courtesy of the Pentagagon, left reality and
sanity left so far behind that truth has become as irrelevant (so they
say) as the UN?

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
Subject: Murder and Madness: Two Articles on Iraq
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 00:39:54 -0400

Reuters Cameraman Killed For Filming U.S. Graves,
Brother Says

Mazen found U.S. troops covered in plastic
bags in remote desert areas and he filmed them
for a TV program
By Awad al-Ragoub, IOL Correspondent

AL-KHALIL, West Bank, August 19  - The brother
of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana said he was
deliberately murdered for discovering mass graves
of U.S. troops killed in Iraqi resistance attacks.

"The U.S. troops killed my brother in cold blood,"
Nazmi Dana told in exclusive

"The U.S. occupation troops shot dead my brother on
purpose, although he was wearing his press badge, which
was also emblazoned on the car he was driving," he

He also recalled that his brother had obtained a prior
permit from the U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq to
film in the site.

On Sunday, August 17, U.S. troops shot dead the award-
winning Reuters cameraman while he was filming near the
U.S.-run Abu Gharib prison in Baghdad.

His last pictures show a U.S. tank driving toward him
outside the prison walls, several shots ring out from
the tank and the camera falls to the ground.

Mass Grave

"Mazen told me by phone few days before his death that
he discovered a mass grave dug by U.S. troops to
conceal the bodies of their fellow comrades killed in
Iraqi resistance attacks," Nazmi said.

"He also told me that he found U.S. troops covered in
plastic bags in remote desert areas and he filmed them
for a TV program. We are pretty sure that the American
forces had killed Mazen knowingly to prevent him from
airing his finding."

Nazmi said that the U.S. occupation troops were slowing
down the transfer of his brother’s body to his hometown
city of Al-Khalil (Hebron) in the West Bank.

"At the very beginning, the Americans refused to
transfer his body outside Iraq. After Reuters
intervened they offered to allow us to take the body to
Jordan by road but we refused because of the state of
insecurity in Iraq," he said.

"Thanks to Reuters international and diplomatic
contacts, the U.S. troops reluctantly agreed to
transfer the body on an army plane to Kuwait. From
there, the body will be flown to Jordan and finally
Palestine to be laid to rest," added the grieved

Last Mission

Mazen's wife, Umm Hamza, did not rule out that the U.S.
troops targeted her husband personally, noting they had
agreed to give him a permit to film Abu Gharib prison
and then he was directly shot dead by two U.S. tanks.

Resolved as she was, Umm Hamza said the death of her
husband came as a bombshell, especially that she
expected him to be killed while covering the
developments in Palestine for his bravery and rare

"Filming Abu Gharib was his last mission; he was
scheduled to leave Baghdad after getting the job done.

"I lost the dearest man to my heart, he was caring and
was loved by all his friends and relatives," she

Settlers' Enemy

Palestinian journalists hold a mock funeral for Mazen

Mazen’s camera was the Israeli settlers' archenemy,
given that he exposed to the entire world their
terrorism against the Palestinians and their wildcat
outposts sprawling in four Al-Khalil posts.

His death cast a pall of sadness over the Palestinian
territories and reporters, who mourned him as "a
matchless colleague."

All international and local news agencies sent cables
of condolences to his family, lauding his patriotism
and determination to uncover the truth wherever it was.

The Palestinian information ministry and press
syndicate issued two separate statements, condemning
the attack on Mazen and the continued targeting of

The two statements demanded the U.S. to show some
respect for human beings, particularly reporters,
pointing out that Mazen was a distinguished journalist
who did his best to serve his country and cause.

The ministry further urged all Arab and international
press unions "to open a probe into this crime and
expose to the entire world the murderers who have blood
on their hands and put them on trial."

Colleagues Mourn

Furthermore, dozens of Palestinian journalists
protested on Tuesday morning in Al-Khalil at the
killing of Mazen.

The marchers put on a peaceful demonstration from the
House of the Palestinian Press established by the
deceased and other journalists.

In Bethlehem, journalists also held a mock funeral for
Mazen, denouncing the U.S. occupation of Iraq and
displaying placards condemning his "assassination."

A U.S. military inquiry has recently exonerated an
American tank crew for firing on a Baghdad hotel
housing journalists, killing two foreign reporters and
wounded three others.



Zsa Zsa Saddam and an Elvis Hussein make Tikrit debuts
in poster campaign

By Luke Baker, Tikrit, Iraq,
>From The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Monday, August 18, 2003

The familiar-looking Iraqi strongman has his head
tossed back, tipped cigarette dangling coquettishly
between his delicate fingers.  Meet Zsa Zsa Saddam, the
U.S. military's latest ploy in the four-month hunt for
Iraq's fugitive ex-president.

In a campaign set to begin today, the U.S. forces will
be putting up posters around Saddam Hussein's hometown
of Tikrit showing the dictator's face superimposed on
Hollywood heroines and other stars in an attempt to
enrage his followers and draw them out into the open.

As well as the slinky Zsa Zsa Gabor,there is Mr.
Hussein as a busty Rita Hayworth, as a grooving Elvis
Presley and as British-born rocker Billy Idol.

"We're going to do something devious with these," said
a chuckling Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Russell, checking
out a range of the spoofs which first appeared on the
Web site .

"Most of the locals will love 'em and they'll be
laughing.  But the bad guys are going to get upset,
which will make it easier to know who they are," he

Col. Russell hopes to have the posters slapped up on
walls around Tikrit today, part of a game of cat-and-
mouse his unit is playing with the ex-dictator's
loyalists in the Tikrit area.

Apparently intimidated by the heavy U.S. military
presence around town, more and more guerillas are
stashing their weapons and keeping a low profile, U.S.
commanders say.  U.S. forces are trying to flush them
out and hunt them while they can.

One tactic that Col. Russell and his unit employ is
offering themselves up as bait.

Humvees packed with soldiers will drive up and down
what has been dubbed RPG Alley to try to attract fire
from insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades
and rifles.

While that has had some success, Col. Russell is now
turning to the poster campaign to see whether he can
taunt Hussein loyalists into showing their colours.

Sergeant David Cade, a specialist in army psychological
operations, said the campaign will probably be "mostly
good for troop morale, but if we can put these posters
up in Tikrit and the enemy can't take them down, then
at least it shows who owns the streets."

The posters, however, make stoke fury among Iraqis who
don't like the idea of Mr. Hussein's head on a dancing
Elvis body, a gold crucifix hanging around his hairy

"Maybe it's funny for the soldiers, but I think most
locals will find it very insulting," said Uday, a 22-
year-old working as a translator at the U.S. military
base in Tikrit.

Reuters News Agency

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