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[casi] Response to certain recent criticisms

Thanks for the people who took the time to express their concerns about what I post here, its far 
better for such criticisms to be expressed and then dicussed.

I think they can be divided into two part; tone and content.

1)  Content
Dealing with content first, Colin I would take you criticisms a little more seriously if you had 
taken the trouble to read the original article.  In the original article it describes precisely 
what happened to the (imaginary) grave site, it was buried, exposed by flood and then the villagers 
were forced to bury it again with shovels.  Therefore I find your comment
"although revolting to engage in a process of coolly wondering about this: if you shoot pleading 
people in the head at a sandy place, it seems to me that the sand will gradually blow over their 
bodies, forming dunes of the sort in the photograph.", somewhat emotive and imaginative but not 
really relating to the article in question.

Looking at the photo it is very difficult to conceive of any flooding in that area, or of the site 
being anything other than undisturbed desert.

"Let us suppose, though, that this is not the case, and that the photo is concocted.  Is this 
relevant?  If someone is asked to strike a pose for a camera, that does not in any way alter the 
truth of the accompanying story."
The answer to this is fairly obvious, most likely yes it would alter the truth of story 
fundamentally.  It doesnt seem such an extraordinary thing to expect a journalist who is 
investigating a mass graves of "thousands" to actually find some evidence that there is in fact a 
mass grave.  It is obvious there is none.  Nor has there been any subsequent investigation or 
exhumation of this site, extraordinary for a site containing "thousands".  Yet, throughout the 
article we are told about 'standing on the graves', how 'everybody needs to see this' - see what, a 
sand dune?  The old British priniciple of habeas corpus should apply to journalism as much as the 

To take an another example, I doubt that few on this list would argue that this story from the 
Daily Telegraph ( fulling backing up the 45 
minute claim is simply fabrication for political gain.  If it is acceptable to accuse the media of 
fabrication in regards to WMDs, why is it not acceptable in terms of discussing atrocity stories, 
which are so much more emotive and manipulative of public opinion?  Are they in some way 

In other words in terms of content I think it is utterly appropriate to raise questions and frankly 
I wonder greatly that anyone can doubt that this story is not vastly overrated propaganda, even if, 
unlikely, contained a slight grain of truth.

2)  Tone,

Clearly no one wants to adopt a sneering tone and if that is the impression its unfortunate.  
Usually my mood in these stories wavers between suppressed fury and resigned amusement.  My guess 
is the best response to the barrage of lies and absurd propaganda that assaults us from every side 
is simply laughter and point out their po-faced absurdities.  After all it soon comes obvious that 
all these journalists, UN experts, commentators seriously pontificating on TV, the talking heads 
are nothing more than a motely collection of buffoons, clowns, liars, and mountebanks.  And 
hopefully soon the laughter will rise to such a level that not all the commission of inquiries and 
newspapers and reports will be able to drown.  But perhaps i am too optimistic.

3)  Feeling unclean

My advice is to do what I do, I only read about 25-20% of posts here.  If getting individual emails 
just delete the ones from me, or if reading on the web dont click on the links that are from me.  
That way your moral and spiritual cleanliness will remain intact and those who are interested in 
taking a sceptical view of what is been poured out by the media in Iraq will still be able to read 

I find some of the bollocksy mass grave stories make me feel a bit unclean sometime too.

Yours with soapsuds.
Tom Young

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