Sunday, October 03, 2004


Media Matters

I was quite surprised by some of the reactions to my reference to the Fallujah massacre in a previous post. Is it possible that the American people are not aware of what really happened there last April? I am asking this question in sincerity, to know.

Is it possible that people in America do not know of what probably will be labeled as the major incident of this whole campaign so far that united the feelings of most of the Iraqi people against the American Army? It left no doubt in the minds of most people that this was a conquering army and not a liberating one.


I was watching a TV program at the time and the reporter asked Brig Gen Mark Kimmet (then US Army spokesman) what he would say to people watching that massacre. The general replied crisply: "Change the channel" [Probably in reference to Aljazeera, a TV channel that was giving live coverage of events]. I remember thinking that that was a silly thing to say.

Is it that the American people watch a "different channel"? Apparently the US administration wants us to do so; witness the evacuation of news crews from inner Najaf during the last crisis. The offices of that particular station (Aljazeera) were closed for a month (then the closure order extended indefinitely) prior to the escalation of events recently.

This may prevent Americans from following the details of what is happening, but not Iraqis. We have our own channels. Fallujah is less than 50 miles from Baghdad; Najaf is only about 100 miles away. Also, Najaf is holy to most Iraqis, Shiites and Sunnis… and word travels fast in this country. People in Iraq are not tiny isolated islands; they continuously interact with others. This is one channel nobody can switch off.


Is it possible that the administration want Iraqis to watch the same channels as the American public, so that we can listen to things like:

Bill O' Reilly, leading news commentator on Fox TV stated:

"I don't have any respect by and large for the Iraqi people at all. I have no respect for them. I think that they're a prehistoric group that is - yeah, there's excuses. Sure, they're terrorized, they've never known freedom, all of that. There's excuses.

"I understand. But I don't have to respect them because you know when you have Americans dying trying to, you know institute some kind of democracy there, and two percent of the people appreciate it, you know, it's time to - time to wise up.

"The big lesson is that we cannot intervene using ground troops in the Muslim world ever again. What we can do, is bomb the living daylights out of them, just like we did in the Balkans. Bomb the living daylights out of them. But no more ground troops, no more hearts and minds; ain't going to work. They're just people who are primitive."

I didn't believe it at first either. Do a Google search. I thought there were laws in the US against saying things like that. Is it possible to say something like this in the US and still be employed as a news commentator by a major news channel? I wonder what Gen Kimmet has to say about that?

Have you been following the news from Iraq lately? Well, his bosses have been trying hard to do as the man said… "Bomb the living daylights out of them."


Abu, it's sad but true. The American people do not know what happened in Fallujah. They have no idea in general what is going on in the world. The media is corporate controlled but because the people are told that they have a free press and have a wide variety of mainstream newspapers and TV channels and radio talk shows to choose from, it never occurs to most of them that the stunning conformity of opinion among these outlets should be a warning. There are honest media sources, but those are so furiously condemned in the mainstream media that respectable people are afraid to actually look at them. This is why what you are doing is so important, and also why so many of the US posters get so hostile when they read your blog. You shatter the world image that they have bought into. If they admit that you just might know a bit more about being an Iraqi than they know, they will have to admit to being gullible pawns. Rather than admit the ugly truth, they scream louder the lie they have swallowed. They are the "kool-aid drinkers" you may have heard about.

(Oh, this is the same Laura who has emailed you before--I've been very busy so I didn't have the chance to reply last time.)

Hello Abu Khaleel,
O'Reilly is the Saddam Hussein [hero] of the American Saddamists. His nickname is Shutup, because he loves to tell his guest-victims that.
He gets away with saying such things because he is widely considered insane [pathological liar] and he is expected to plead that way if he's ever sued for hate-speech. I mean...can you sue a raving madman for slander?

LOL. Yeah our media is "corporate controlled". Hahaha.

I guess who owns the channel is really the determinant of the truth of what they are saying. Channels run by Muslim Brotherhood associates and owned by the government of UAE, are of course trustworthy, but channels run Australian businessmen are of course to be ignored.

Why not just listen to what they are saying and think about whether it is credible or not.

For example, the rebels in Fallujah claimed that the US killed all these civilians, but they would not let any independent observers in to inspect the bodies and make an independent count (By the way, International ANSWER is NOT an independent group!!). In numerous other cases insurgents in Iraq have inflated civilian casualty figures in order to use it as propaganda against the US, and Al Jazeera has been complicit in this propaganda effort, repeating their figures as facts without checking. So why would they do anything different in Fallujah. Furthermore we know they use civilians as human shields, and we know that US has put a lot of effort into designing precision weapons to avoid killing civilians.

Keep swallowing your garbage anti-American propaganda.
Anti-Americanism is a bigoted disease which currently infests the world. Especially the deranged Europeans who have been brainwashed by Marxist rhetoric coming from groups that hate America simply because it is capitalist. That is what this is all about. Anti-Americanism is a deliberate propaganda tactic of Marxist-Socialists. It is an expedient tool for them to encourage terrorism against innocent Americans and Iraqis because this helps them in their "cause".

Oh and I should add.

The European left has blood on it's hands.
Rhetoric kills, and leftist rhetoric is killing Americans and Iraqis. They are responsible for encouraging terrorism against the US and Iraq. They cheered when 3,000 people were killed in New York and danced and drank their blood with their words of celebration.

Congratulations Leftist Blood Lovers. I hope it's worth it for the sake of "anti-capitalism".

Abu Khaleed,
your blogs make perfect sense to any average European. As for there being chances (in Iraq or anywhere else) to build a democracy from below, it sounds like hope (or utopia?), but with no guarantee of success. But again, of course, your model is anyway much sounder than any other (as far as I can tell) for building an Iraqi democracy.
I am not surprised at all, instead, of the ignorance of the American public about what their 'glorious' troops are doing to Iraqi civilians on a daily basis. The above couple of posts from an American Anonymous shows it in a stark light (like other comments before). Their Government's control of information on a global scale is something that makes any totalitarian propaganda before (Hitler's, Stalin's, Mussolini's, or poor Saddam's) pale in the comparison. The trouble is that for you Iraqis this is not just a matter for debate, but a reality of spilt blood and rent flesh.
Praying for you, and hoping these idiotic and crazy invaders leave Iraq soon,
an Italian.

How funny! Just what war are you fighting, Anonymous Neo-Con? I'll see your unwashed ANSWER ideologues and raise you Trotskyites in the White House. Everyone join in and play the Commie Witch-hunt Game! Loads of Nostalgic Fun for the Whole Family!

Statements like this... "Their Government's control of information on a global scale is something that makes any totalitarian propaganda before (Hitler's, Stalin's, Mussolini's, or poor Saddam's) pale in the comparison."

...only serve to demonstrate the depth to which the European public has brainwashed itself.

Oh yeah, our government controls information so well that anti-American propaganda is rampant on Arab and European TV. That makes Sooooo much sense. There's so much control over the media that we routinely see people denouncing Bush and the US not only on European channels but in anti-Bush campaign commercials in the US elections. We control people minds so much that anti-American rhetoric is de-rigeur in Parisean parlours.

Of course repetition of the notion that there is no criticism of the US government on American TV is all part and parcel of the brainwashing package. Do they even bother to watch any actual American channels to see what they actually say? Of course not. They wouldn't be caught dead actually watching an American channel.

Dear Abu Khaleel

USA is alike Matrix, the movie, in philophical terms. Americam people's brains only see a rose world, because their souls are plugged by the education system and mainstream media.

If you show even a bit of reality to one who had his soul pluggled, he immediately turns into "Agent Smith" and try to kill you...

Aquele abraço!

Alvaro Frota

Sure ... well in my opinon, the Brazilians are taught to hate America by their school systems and their media.

Everyone knows how Marxist-Socialism dominates Latin-American intellectual thought. They are trained to hate the USA even more than the Europeans. They have received a steady diet of socialist rhetoric about US "economic imperialism" for decades, and their favorite poster boy is Che Guevara.

Gotta love the T-shirt thing though. It's great how capitalists can find a way to make money off the romanticization of gulag architects.

No, Bill O'Rielly can say whatever he likes as well as any other person. That's what freedom is about. The claim that Americans are somehow being brain washed by the governmnet controlled media is rediculous. You can listen to pro-governmnet or anti-governmnet stations. The US population has more access to media outlets than any other country in the world. Other than over 100 TV channels in every home, including BBC and other foreign broadcasts, the US is wired to the internet. We have nore internet connections per capita than any other country in the world. We can listen to a a huge source of radio while in our cars both local and now satellite stations. No other country in the world is informed by so many differnet news outlets. When someone claims the US population is misinformed due to government controlled news outlets it's obvious these people are the ones who are misinformed and are just looking for excuses to push their agenda.

Anonymous American,

Falujah was in the American news early in the 2nd quarter of 2003, regarding school children shot by US forces during a demonstration requesting the re-opening of the local school, which was being used as a military base by the Americans.

This fact has not been mentioned in the American media since then as far as I know.

Be Well,

"Falujah was in the American news early in the 2nd quarter of 2003, regarding school children shot by US forces during a demonstration requesting the re-opening of the local school, which was being used as a military base by the Americans.

This fact has not been mentioned in the American media since then as far as I know. "

It's been mentioned repeatedly, and been continually referenced as the situation in Fallujah developed over the past year. I'm not going to dig for examples now because there are so many news stories mentioning Fallujah that it would take hours to sift through to the ones that discuss the past timeline of event there.

These days, most newspaper stories usually reference back to last April, with the mutilation of the corpses of the four civilian workers, and subsequent offensive. Before that, they routinely traced the start of problems back to the demonstration.

You have the events mixed up though. It was not schoolchildren shot by the US, it was adult protestors. However, the US soldiers said that as the crowd approached armed gunmen stepped out from doorways and started firing on them, using the civilian crowd as human shields.

But, I bet you didn't hear THAT on any of your anti-American news broadcasts in Europe or on Al Jazeera. They would never bother to tell the American side of the story.

Okay, three children, but it didn't occur in October, it was the previous April.

U.S. Central Command said that the protesters fired on the soldiers with AK-47s and that the soldiers fired back in self-defense.

According to CNN's Karl Penhaul the demonstrators say that didn't occur. They say that some of their number did start throwing stones, and that is what prompted the U.S. soldiers to open fire. The engineer says that at that point "all hell broke loose." (On the Scene: Karl Penhaul)

One U.S. Army sergeant said he shot at what he saw, "and what I saw was targets. Targets with weapons, and they were going to harm me."

"It's either them or me, and I took the shot, sir, and I'm still here talking to you," he said.

A second U.S. soldier said the clash began when some protesters started throwing rocks at the soldiers and others started chanting.

"Then others joined in throwing rocks, and others brought weapons to the party," the soldier said. "Then they started firing them -- not just into the air but toward the soldiers on top of the buildings."

And from PBS ... in case you fell that CNN is too "corporate"....

Air Force Maj. Gen. Gene Renuart said the demonstration appeared to be a celebration of Saddam's Hussein's 66th birthday. Renuart, CENTCOM's operations director, said someone fired in the air during the demonstration, and others pointed weapons at the soldiers, who opened fire.

The protesters "intentionally engaged American soldiers," Captain Mike Riedmuller, commanding officer of an Army troop with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, said.

Townspeople said they were protesting the continued presence of U.S. soldiers at Fallujah's elementary school, where classes were supposed to resume Tuesday. They disputed U.S. assertions that troops shot protesters in self-defense, saying the Iraqis were unarmed and did not provoke the Americans.

"It was a peaceful demonstration. They did not have any weapons," local Sunni Muslim cleric Kamal Shaker Mahmoud told Reuters. "They were asking the Americans to leave the school so they could use it."

Aqil Khaleil, one of the wounded, said U.S. soldiers fired without warning, The Washington Post reported.

Dr. Ahmed Ghanim al-Ali, director of Fallujah's General Hospital, said his medical crews were shot at when they arrived on the scene to remove the injured.

U.S. Central Command in Qatar issued a statement denying reports soldiers had done anything but act in self-defense.

"Media reports from the Arab-language news network Al Jazeera and other media reporting U.S. soldiers fired unprovoked into a crowd at Fallujah, Iraq, April 28 are not accurate," the statement said.

"Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division came under fire from Iraqis armed with AK-47s," the statement read. "The unit exercised its inherent right to self-defense and returned fire."

Anonymous American,

I had forgotten the number of children, and April 29th 2003 was indeed early in the 2nd quarter of 2003.

Note, this is ONLY 1 1/2 year ago. The town has a reputation, or so I heard on the radio (NPR I believe), of the equivalent of a 'redneck' enclave. So imagine, if you will, the feelings in Cheyenne about a 1 1/2 years after Feds fire into a 'peaceful' demonstration, wounding a number of 'Ruby Ridge honoring gun-toting far-right-wingers' and killing 3 of their children. Now add to this Federal support for equal access of Catholics, Jews, and Lakota Indians to jobs and housing (roughly the equivalent of how American Christianity might be viewed by near-fundamentalist inhabitants of Fallujah).

Fallujah was not apt to be friendly towards the Americans in the first place. With the actions of April 29, 2003, the probability of increasing anti-American radicalism mushroomed.

Did you notice that in the news stories about the murder of the security contractors 2 things tended to get little mention--1) The demonstration and response on April 29, 2003; 2) The para-military nature of the contractors--this wasn't Burns International Security or Armored Transport.

Note---I'm not excusing the actions of the armed groups in Fallujah. I AM pointing out how the news seemed to be slanted here in the States.

Be Well,

"Did you notice that in the news stories about the murder of the security contractors 2 things tended to get little mention--1) The demonstration and response on April 29, 2003; 2) The para-military nature of the contractors--this wasn't Burns International Security or Armored Transport. "

The demonstration WAS mentioned. I'm sorry you weren't paying attention. I guess you just skim the headlines, instead of reading an entire story. Fallujah had a long history subsequent to that as well. Apparantly live news broadcasters feel that time limitations prevent them from discussing the entire history of the past year in Fallujah every time they talk about a recent story.

Second calling the guys "paramilitary" is a distortion. They were not there to kill Iraqis. They were there to find the safest route for convoys to pass through the town. And it WAS discussed on the news. The New York Times did an entire series on security companies in Iraq. NPR covered it in their analysis segments. It was debated on Crossfire and on numerous other television debate shows. I guess you missed that too.

I guess you weren't paying attention to those either.

I guess the assertion that these things aren't covered in the US news media has simply been repeated so often that you don't even bother to check to see if it is true.

The four "civilians" are Blackwaters, the worst mercenaries in Earth. They very deserve what happened with them.

Mercenaries, as soldiers, are paid to kill and to die. They die? No complains about it.

Aquele abraço!

Alvaro Frota

Oh, being hired by Blackwater means you "deserve" to be killed and mutilated. Really.

No trial. No evidence of wrongdoing. I guess they usually call that "guilt by association", but then the normal rules of justice don't apply to Americans in them inds of Brazilian Marxists.

They just deserve to be killed for who they are.

There is a WAR, Mister. In a WAR, one doesn't need a trial to kill a mercenary or a soldier.

You are talking as USA had judged all the children and civilians you killed with airplanes... But, if USA did these kind of trial, why the children and civilians got the capital poena?

Matrix got you, man... There is no other plausible explanation to you...


Al-Fallujah: vicious US bombing targets civilians.

As US media such as the Associated Press (AP) trumpeted the official US military line that American war planes had blasted the strongholds of the illusive Abu Mus‘ab az-Zarqawi whom they refer to as a “terrorist mastermind” for the n-th time, the correspondent of Mafakrat al-Islam on the ground in al-Fallujah reported in a dispatch posted at 4:55am Mecca time that American aircraft had rocketed the home of a local civilian. Al-Hajj Thamir as-Salim, whose house was destroyed, was a pharmacist who ran the al-Abrar Pharmacy in the city.

As-Salim’s house lay in the al-Jumhuriyah neighborhood of the city, across from the ar-Rawi Mosque. The home was completely destroyed and adjacent ones were severely damaged and two children, three women and three men and one teenager were killed in the savage American attack. Thirteen others were wounded in the raid - four children, three men, six women.

In a dispatch posted at 6am Mecca time (7am local time) the correspondent reported that US planes were still prowling the skies over the site of the US bombing, making it dangerous for rescuers to approach it.

US forces also bombed a house in the ash-Shuhada’ neighborhood at about 5:00am local time. Two Kurdish youths who made shoes were killed in that raid, according to Mafkarat al-Islam’s correspondent.

Hospital sources in al-Fallujah were quoted by the AP as saying that 11 persons were killed in the American bomb raid, but the American news agency noted that the US “military regularly accuses hospital of inflating casualty figures.” The US military has no presence in al-Fallujah, so it has no way of verifying hospital figures in the defiant city.

Dr. ‘Adil Khamis of al-Fallujah General Hospital was quoted by AP as saying that three women and four children were among the nine people killed in the al-Jumhuriyah bombing and that twelve were injured there, including six women and three children. AP quoted al-Khamis as saying that “two more people” were killed in the bombing of the house in ash-Shuhada’.

The mendacious US military announced that their attack on as-Salim the pharmacist’s house was a “precision strike” carried out at about 1am local time and that precautions were taken to ensure that “no innocent civilians were present” at the time of the strikes.

The US military claimed that the second raid, in which two Kurdish shoemakers were killed, targeted a building where “members of az-Zarqawi’s network were believed to be meeting.”

Read more

As I said, they weren't there to kill Iraqis. They were they to try to figure out what was the safest route to travel through Fallujah.

And for that, you say they "deserve" death.

No comment of you re-posting of propaganda from unknown sources. I'll just let your Marxist alliance with terrorism stand as direct evidence of an earlier point.

Hatred of America overrides all humanitarian values for some people. Iraqi children are being used by the Left as the cannon fodder for a political war that has nothing to do with them whatsoever.

I was wrong. The Blackwatters didn't deserve got killed. Realy, nobody deserves it.

But, as mercenaries, part of the occupation forces, they are valid targets.

All the children killed by the American bombs was not "propaganda". They was human beings. But for you, only the children killed by the Iraqi car bombs are real...

Matrix got you, man. Try the red pill to awake...


The Matrix is an American movie.
And one far too individualistic for your Marxist tastes.

I don't think you *really* understood it.

Living in the U.S. had made me think twice before doing anything stupid (and u know how hard this is!) but with this dude I am finding it really challenging to stay calm and not pick up the phone and call the MF!!

I think words can do magic, some people in the US are interested in learning the truth and discovering the ugly side of it too but they need help!
I agree with those who called O'Reilly insane or a jerk! cause he really is! and I also agree with you Abu Khaleel, that we should not blame him, we should blame fox news who hired him!
This reminds me of the former CNN reporter Peter J’s scandal, he got fired because he said a word of truth, he paid the price of showing some sympathy and respect to the living souls in Iraq! But no one can touch Mr. O’Reilly although he disrespects his audience and the channel he works for!! Go figure!!!

I have sent him a group e-mail signed by 85 people telling him that the living daylight will never vanish no matter how hard he and his administration will try and he better post an apology or resign and spare us his stupid comments! I am sure he will not do any of that was a good way for me to vent!!

I truly believe that this administration had lost credibility and integrity long time ago... I just hope that the new administration will focus more on the inside and leave other countries find their faith. .Having said that, I am not sure if the U.S. gets the hell out of Iraq will solve any problems; as a matter of fact I think it will make things worse....

All I can say may god bless Iraq and protect my people..

Zina Janabi

Hi there, it is me again... below is Peter Arnet Statement for the Iraqi TV that made him hit the road!! All i see is smart prediction!
Arnett told the Iraqi TV interviewer, who was dressed in an Iraqi Army uniform, that President Bush is facing a "growing challenge" about the "conduct of the war" within the United States.

"President Bush says he is concerned about the Iraqi people, but if Iraqi people are dying in numbers, then American policy will be challenged very strongly," he said. In the interview, Arnett said reports from Baghdad on civilians being killed are being shown in the United States, and "it helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments"
He said his reports "would tell the Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of the government and the willingness to fight for their country."

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