Iraq Theater

TRUTH, DEATH AND MEDIA IN IRAQ

We Kill Journalists, Don't We?

by Michael I. Niman

"There is not one of you who dare to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job... The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon."
-John Swinton (1880), Former New York Times Managing Editor

IS THERE A "THIRD ALTERNATIVE" IN IRAQ?

by Bill Weinberg

Iraq's elections--held in defiance of threats from guerillas against voters
and authorities alike--have predictably been hailed as a victory for
democracy. "The people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is
hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," said U.S.
President George Bush as the votes came in Jan. 30.

The results tell a different story. Iraqis voted almost perfectly along
ethnic and religious lines. Nearly 50% of the vote went to an openly
Islamist Shi'ite bloc backed by Ayatollah al-Sistani, inappropriately named

Did U.S. use mustard gas in Fallujah?

Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq's Health Ministry says a survey of casualties from Fallujah indicates the U.S. used mustard gas and other internationally banned weapons in the city. Reports of survivors seeing "melted" bodies also indicates use of napalm, he said. (Al-Jazeera, March 5)

Vermont townships reject Iraq war

A resolution calling for troop withdrawal from Iraq was put before Vermont town meetings March 1 as a result of a statewide campaign by anti-war activists. By the following night, the resolution had been approved by 38 towns of the 50 in which it went to a vote.

Zarqawi urged to hit U.S.?

Citing an anonymous "intelligence source," Newsday and assorted other media outlets claim that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted militant leader in Iraq, has been urged by Osama bin Laden's top aide to organize attacks in the US.

Saddam tribunal judge assassinated

A judge in the tribunal created to try Saddam Hussein was assassinated by unkown gunmen along with his son outside their home in north Baghdad, two days after the tribunal ruled that a first group defendants from the Saddam regime would be tried for crimes against humanity.

Iraq: generals see long war

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, the top US military commander, said Feb. 25 that the country must be prepared for a decade of war in Iraq, judging by the examples of history.  "This is not the kind of business that can be done in one year, two years probably," said Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. (Reuters, Feb. 25)

A yet more pessimistic analysis came from Maj Gen. Alan Stretton, who was chief of staff of the Australian force in Vietnam from 1969-70. "I really believe it will go the same way as Vietnam," he told Australian radio. "It will get no better – [only] worse – and eventually public opinion in both the US and Australia and elsewhere will demand our troops come back and when they do they will be pretending that the locals can handle it all themselves, and we will just leave a bloody mess." (AAP, Feb. 24)

Iraq: Saddam half-brother captured

The US military claims it has taken into custody Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan, half-brother of Saddam Hussein and a supposed key figure in the insurgency. Iraqi officials told the AP that Hassan had been captured by Syrian authorities in the northeast of that country, and handed over to US forces as a gesture of good faith following recent accusations that Damascus is aiding the Iraq insurgents. (AP, Feb. 27)

Syndicate content