Monday, March 21, 2005

Bush Says "Watch Aljazeera"

He didn't use those exact words but last week the president did indicate quite clearly what sort of ... um ... broadcasts we can expect from the mainstream media.

Here is some of the truth that is currently available at Aljazeera, which lately seems more and more like one of the last bastions of responsible journalism...
All is quiet in Falluja, or at least that is how it seems, given that the mainstream media has largely forgotten about the Iraqi city. But independent journalists are risking life and limb to bring out a very different story.

The picture they are painting is of US soldiers killing whole families, including children, attacks on hospitals and doctors, the use of napalm-like weapons and sections of the city destroyed.

One of the few reporters who has reached Falluja is American Dahr Jamail of the Inter Press Service. He interviewed a doctor who had filmed the testimony of a 16-year-old girl.

"She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters.

She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything. They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead," Jamail relates.
This is the kind of story our so-called leaders don't want us to hear.

Speaking of which, guess who says journalists are being targeted? And guess who presented evidence to back her[!]self up? Naomi. Check this out; it's beautiful.
Journalist and writer Naomi Klein has also come under attack for insisting that US forces are eliminating those who dare to count casualties.

No less than the US ambassador to the UK David Johnson wrote a letter to British newspaper The Guardian that published Klein's work, demanding evidence, which she then provided.

The first piece of evidence Klein sent to Johnson was that the hospital in Falluja was raided to stop any reporting of casualties, a tactic that was later repeated in Mosul.

"The first major operation by US marines and Iraqi soldiers was to storm Falluja general hospital, arresting doctors and placing the facility under military control.

"The New York Times reported that 'the hospital was selected as an early target because the American military believed that it was the source of rumours about heavy casualties', noting that 'this time around, the American military intends to fight its own information war, countering or squelching what has been one of the insurgents' most potent weapons'.
This might not be news to some of us, but apparently it was big news to "the US ambassador to the UK David Johnson". Har de har. Well Mister David Johnson you done picked on the wrong journalist there, mister ambassador dude moron sir.

It is wonderful to see somebody waving some truth in the general direction of Ambassador Johnson, and it's great to see this happening in a UK paper. But will Americans ever read about it? Other than the four or five regular readers of this lowly and nearly frozen Winter Patriot, who else in the United States will ever know about this? Who else will ever know about any of the other details that appear once in one article in one edition of one city newspaper and then disappear forever? Like:
The Los Angeles Times quoted a doctor as saying that the soldiers 'stole the mobile phones' at the hospital - preventing doctors from communicating with the outside world."
Would we know this if not for Naomi? Thank goodness for Naomi Klein.
As Dahr Jamail reports from his online diary "doctors are now technically forbidden to talk to the media or allow them to take photos in Iraqi hospitals unless granted permission from the Ministry of Health and its US-adviser".
Thank goodness for Dahr Jamail. And thank goodness for all four or five regular readers, too. You guys rock!

Read the article I've been quoting.

Bookmark Aljazeera.