Following up from Friday’s post on dissent against the American-imposed regime in Iraq, here are some observations from As’ad AbuKhalil on how the reality of the occupied land gets transmuted through the magic seeing stones of the American media into something more rosy and benign:
First, notice that US media, especially the New York Times and Washington Post, cover Iraq with barely a mention that the country is occupied and has been occupied since 2003. Secondly, notice that every article about repression and protests in Iraq has to mention that the country is a “democracy” as if to express amazement at the willingness of Iraqis to protest against it (this is today’s NYT: “Unlike protests elsewhere in the region, the crowds in this young, war-torn democracy did not call for an entirely new form of government…”).
Secondly, notice that the murder and repression by Iraqi puppet forces are always justified: (in the NYT today it said that people died from “clashes”: “Iraq’s “day of rage” on Friday ended with nearly 20 protesters killed in clashes with security forces.”).
Thirdly, notice that any protests against the occupation and its puppet forces are instantly conflated with Al-Qa`idah terrorism (this is from today’s NYT: “But on Friday, he celebrated the fact that there had been no suicide bombings. Their absence was perhaps a fluke, but it suggested that heavy security restrictions…” I mean, why should they link the protests to suicide bombings? Unless they are implying–like the sectarian puppet, Al-Maliki, that Bin Laden was behind the protests–just like Qadhdhafi has claimed in Libya).
Fourthly, there is no opportunity missed to heap praise on puppet Iraqi repression forces. (Upon learning that some 20 protesters were killed, this is what a US commander has said: “Col. Barry A. Johnson, a spokesman for the United States military, said Iraq’s security forces appeared to respond well to the volatile, sometimes violent, crowds. “The Iraqi forces’ response appeared professional and restrained,” he said in an e-mail.”).
Well, at least he didn’t suggest that the Iraqi victims shot themselves in order to make Americans look bad, following the logic of the Grand High Poobah of the Militarist Lodge, David Petraeus, with his recent “suggestions” that the grubby little darkies in Afghanistan were burning their own children as a PR stunt.
But really: 20 people mowed down in protests, and this is a “professional and restrained” response? Recall the cries of condemnation that rightly greeted the attack on protestors during the December elections in Belarus. There, government thugs charged unarmed demonstrators and beat them. For this, and for repressions that in no way surpassed anything seen in Iraq daily, Belarus was hit with new sanctions. Yet in Iraq, a corrupt regime shoots down 20 citizens in a blood-and-iron crackdown; and they are praised by the imperial progressives along the Potomac for their restraint.
See AbuKhalil’s post for further observations.