Friday, November 12, 2004


Reading the press and watching the news, Moqtada al-Sadr is a "firebrand" and "radical cleric", but Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson who fit too do not get the same tag.

The Iraqi resistance is a coalition of "Islamists and ex-Baathists", but the members of the US-appointed puppet government do not get the same, perfectly fitting tag.

Yemeni and Saudi jihadists in Iraq are foreign fighters, US Marines destroying the homes of 300,000 people (150,000 voters) following the fictious command of a puppet government put in place by the US government do not get the same tag.

Insurgents blowing up an IED planted for a military convoy that in the meantime invited children by distributing sweets are targeting civilians, US forces bombing a hospital and raiding another, or bombing a wedding party, or bombing a restaurant, do not get the same tag.

Armed forces enforcing a fundamentalist agenda loyal to an anti-occupation Islamist party holding a city (f.e. the Mahdi Army of the Sadrists in Najaf April-August 2004) are an illegal militia with a strangehold over the city, armed forces enforcing a fundamentalist agenda loyal to a pro-occupation Islamist party holding a city (f.e. the Badr Brigade of SCIRI also in Najaf but April 2003-March 2004) do not get the same tag.

When a resistance or terrorist-planted bomb kills dozens of civilians, its terrible carnage; but when 2000-lbs bombs levelling whole neighbourhoods (while their target at the centre of destruction was already selected on lousy intel) kill dozens, or when soldiers trained to respond with overwhelming firepower kill hundreds of civilians in the process of levelling whole cities, you do not read the same tag.

When armed forces crush resistance by indiscriminate bombardment with illicit weapons of whole cities (say in Halabja or Najaf), arrests and shootings of leaders and members of a movement (say of the Sadrists in 1999 or Fallujan clerics in 1998) at the command of Baathist dictator Saddam, that's cruel inhumane dictature; but when the same things are done (say in Fallujah and Najaf /of the Sadrists and AMS and non-Sadrist but Sistani- and Occupation-critical Kerbala clerics) at the fictious command of ex-Baathist virtual dictator Allawi, you can be happy to just not read the same tag - rather than read the self-contradictory phrase of 'an act necessary to ensure democracy'.

Reports of incidents from a number of independent sources, but none Western, are 'unconfirmed', while claims from a single Western source that proved unreliable or outright lying several times do not get the same tag.

This docile repetition of propaganda/hypocrisy, which again swallowed the whole of the American mainstream media, while swamping over into large parts of the European media, is also thematised by Tom Engelhardt in a foreword to a reprint of a Mark LeVine article.

UPDATE: Lenin's Tomb on the same subject.


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