Monday, August 29, 2005

Things That Make You Stop and Think

Things That Make You Stop and Think


PARIS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said. The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers.

The US invasion and occupation of Iraq has demonstrated the blatant hubris and cold blooded psychopathy of the Bush NeoConmen cabal’s agenda. While selling the illegal invasion as an act of US security (all modern wars have to be promoted and hyped so the suckers needed for cannon fodder will sacrifice their minds and lives to the ruling elites whose real agenda has nothing to do with the rationales for war) the war is really about oil, propping up sagging global US dollar hegemony and being Israel’s proxy. Despite Bush’s rhetoric about “Freedom is on the march” what we are really seeing in Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq and the Balkans are virulent militarist fascism. The key to selling Bush’s war was gaining the support of the mainstream media, which was no problem since they were literally in bed with the Bush- Cheney program from the very beginning. The mainstream corporate media gave Bush and Co. a free pass from the jump, offering no editorial scrutiny of their platform, they abdicated asking tough questions and promised to serve dutifully as sycophantic cheerleaders. In fact, once the invasion started in order to provide one-sided pro-administration coverage of the war, the AmeriKKKan media and the military entered into an unholy alliance whereby “journalists” were embedded with military units to give a pro-war spin on their reporting. Any deviation from the warmongering propaganda was not tolerated and was strictly and forcibly dealt with. Perhaps that’s why there have been more journalists killed in Iraq in two years than during the whole twenty years of the Vietnam War! This pattern began in earnest in Afghanistan when the US deliberately bombed the Kandahar offices of the Arab version of CNN, Al Jazeera which offereed a more balanced view of the war than their US counterparts. When the invasion of Iraq was launched, the NeoConmen and the military decided to tightly control the flow of information and images. No pictures of mangled mutilated bodies, war -torn cites, no photos of US coffins, and only pre-approved (censored) copy would be allowed. For the Bush administration problems again surfaced with Al Jazeera and the foreign press who did not abide by their propaganda rules of engagement. Not surprisingly it has been foreign journalists, those who were more balanced, in their reporting, or more unabashedly anti-war and not “embedded” with US military who have suffered the brunt of US and coalition killings in Iraq. This along with the lies Bush told to sell the war and his Bizarro world propaganda approach where down is up, failure is success and defeat is winning have caused the military to be more trigger happy when it comes to journalists they perceive not to be on their “team”.
Thus the media rights groups Reporters Without Borders recently issued a communique stating more journalists have been killed in Iraq in two years than the Vietnam or Yugoslavian wars, “The death toll in Iraq compares with a total of 63 journalists in Vietnam, but which was over a period of 20 years from 1955 to 1975, the Paris-based organisation that campaigns to protect journalists said on its Web site. During the fighting in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, 49 journalists were killed doing their job, while 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed during a civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996. RSF listed Iraq as the world's most dangerous place for journalists. In addition to those killed, 22 have been kidnapped. All but one was released. Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni was executed by his captors” (Reuters 08-28-05). Now not all the killings were done by US or coalition forces but, an inordinate number were; including one incident where US forces knowingly fired on a Baghdad hotel that housed journalists. Given the secrecy and deceit of the Bush administration, given their lies about 9-11 and theWar on Terrorism, does anyone in their right mind not suspect this trend is not part and parcel to their ongoing ravishment of truth and information?

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