KILLER BARRY O MADE LIKE EVITA AGAIN FOR YET ANOTHER RAINBOW TOUR. THE CHARM OFFENSIVE APPEARS TO BE A FAILURE.
DESPITE REPEATEDLY SINGING "YOU MUST LOVE ME" THROUGHOUT THE VISIT, THE INHABITANTS OF THE REGION MADE IT CLEAR THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO AND THAT THEY DIDN'T.
ON HIS LAST DAY, ISRAELIS WERE NOTING THAT HIS FAKE EFFORTS SEEMED LITTLE MORE THAN A CON TO FORCE THEM INTO CONCESSIONS WHILE THE PALESTINIANS WERE EVEN MORE VOCAL CHANTING "WE WANT RPGS! NOT COLLABORATIONS WITH THE CIA!"
KILLER BARRY O WAS OBSERVED BY THESE REPORTERS SOBBING IN RESPONSE TO THE CHANT AND IMPLORING, "WHY'D YOU HAVE TO BRING MY MOMMY INTO THIS!"
STILL HE DIDN'T LEAVE THE COUNTRY WITHOUT A TCHOTCHKE. NOT QUITE SURE WHAT TO GIVE THE GUEST WHO BROUGHT NOTHING, ISRAEL FINALLY SETTLED ON A PAPER WEIGHT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
As Ann noted last night, Sara Flounders (Workers World via Global Research) has a critique of the selling of the war that the US media took part in:
The corporate media in the U.S. play a powerful role in preparation for imperialist war. They play an even more insidious role in rewriting the history of U.S. wars and obstructing the purpose of U.S. wars.
They are totally intertwined with U.S. military, oil and banking corporations. In every war, this enormously powerful institution known as the ‘fourth estate’ attempts, as the public relations arm of corporate dominance, to justify imperialist plunder and overwhelm all dissent.
The corporate media’s reminiscences and evaluations this week of the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, which began March 19, 2003, are a stark reminder of their criminal complicity in the war.
In the many articles there is barely any mention of the hundreds of news stories that totally saturated the media for months leading to the Pentagon onslaught. The news coverage in 2003 was wholly unsubstantiated, with wild fabrications of Iraqi secret ”weapons of mass destruction,” ominous nuclear threats, germ warfare programs, purchases of yellow cake uranium, nerve gas labs and the racist demonization of Saddam Hussein as the greatest threat to humanity. All of this is now glossed over and forgotten.
Another media critique is from Anthony DiMaggio (CounterPunch) who points out:
I won’t fault the New York Times for pointing out the stupefying incompetence of the Bush administration in its post-invasion occupation. I do take the paper to task, however, for its complete unwillingness to recognize the real reasons why the American public opposed the Iraq war. Those reasons have to do with moral and substantive rejection of the application of U.S. imperial power abroad. This reality has scarcely been recognized by academics, journalists, political leaders, or even professional polling organizations (pollsters generally rely on political officials and the media to set the agenda for the types of questions they will ask).
Sadly, I have not seen a single polling question asked in the last ten years that measured whether Americans thought the war in Iraq was imperialist or not. The question of whether the war was a “well-intentioned mistake” or “fundamentally wrong and immoral” has never appeared once in the national discourse when it comes to public opinion surveys. Polls that might have questioned whether the U.S. invaded Iraq primarily for its massive oil reserves seldom materialized because the answers would have been too damning to report in a country where the political discussion revolved around whether the war was just and necessary or a noble mistake.
One media critique that I'm not seeing any of the American journalists make is one about Nouri al-Maliki who long ago declared war on the media. In December alone, he shut down two broadcast outlets (three if you factor in that one of the TV channels also had a radio station). He's repeatedly used his armed forces to prevent journalists from access to news sites. In 2006, he was doing that with regards to bombings. He didn't want photos of the victims emerging because that might underscore how violent things actually were in Iraq. Today, he resorts to it to keep reporters away from the ongoing protests.
That may be an improvement from 2011 when he had reporters who covered the protests kidnapped and tortured. February 28, 2011, Kelley McEvers (NPR's Morning Edition -- link is audio and text) reported on what happened to Hadi al-Mahdi, activist and journalist, after a morning of covering the protests when he stopped to have lunch.
MCEVERS: Hadi al Mahdi runs a popular radio show that's long been critical of the government. He recently encouraged his 6,000 Facebook followers to protest against corruption. A few days ago, he was eating lunch with other journalists when soldiers pulled up, blindfolded them, and whisked them away. Mahdi was beaten in the leg, eyes, and head. A soldier tried to get him to admit he was being paid to topple the regime.
Mr. AL MAHDI: (Through translator) I replied, I told the guy who was investigating me, I'm pretty sure that your brother is unemployed, and the street in your area is unpaved, and you know that this political regime is a very corrupt one.
MCEVERS: Mahdi was later put in a room with what he says were about 200 detainees, some of them journalists and intellectuals, many of them young protesters.
Mr. MAHDI: (Through translator) I started hearing voices of other people. So, for instance, one guy was crying, another was saying, where's my brother? And a third one was saying, for the sake of god, help me.
MCEVERS: Mahdi was shown lists of names and asked to reveal people's addresses. He was forced to sign documents while blindfolded. Eventually he was released.
Mahdi says the experience was worse than the times he was detained under Saddam Hussein. He says the regime that's taken Saddam's place is no improvement on the past. This, he says, should serve as a cautionary tale for other Arab countries trying to oust their dictators.
Mr. MAHDI: (Through translator) They toppled the regime, but they brought the worst - they brought a bunch of thieves, thugs, killers, and corrupt people, stealers.
As I've noted before, I exchanged e-mails with Hadi al-Mahdi. He wrote to (kindly) correct me on a few things and to steer me to some other resources for a topic. He doesn't do his radio show anymore. He was assassinated on September 8, 2011. From that day's snapshot:
Madhi had filed a complained with the courts against the Iraqi security forces, noting that they had now warrant and that they kidnapped him in broad daylight and that they beat him. Mohamed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds, "Hadi al-Mehdi was inside his apartment on Abu Nawas street in central Baghdad when gunmen shot him twice with silencer-equipped pistols, said the ministry official, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to media." Mazin Yahya (AP) notes that in addition to calling for improvements in the basic services (electricity, water and sanitation), on his radio program, Hadi al-Mehdi also used Facebook to get the word out on the Friday protests in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.
Despite international outcry, no effort was made to find his killer/s. I firmly believe Nouri al-Maliki was behind that attack. I believe he was behind the hacking of the Iraqi news sites Al Mada and Kitabat and there's no question that he's attempted to use the military to intimidate Al Mada's Chair and editor Fakhri Karim. That's the reality of what happens to Iraqi journalists in Nouri's Iraq. Al Mada's Adnan Hussein noted in a February column for England's New Statesman:
Ultimately, al-Maliki and his Dawa Party have managed to create a new kind of dictatorship. This is a curse not only to the Sunnis, or the Kurds, or the swaths of Shias, but to the country as a whole.
As an editor and columnist of al-Mada, a critical, oppositional newspaper in Iraq, I am given considerable editorial freedom, and there is certainly no shortage of subjects to cover. I am, however, concerned about the freedom of the press.
Fortunately, a draft anti-media law has now been reversed, much to the relief of my colleagues and peers. Journalism is a dangerous business, and yet the level of hazards is hardly higher than the tension about the car bombs and assassinations that continue to plague the people of Iraq.
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