Sunday, July 08, 2012


Last week saw more violence.  Last week saw the political crisis continue.

It saw the websites of newspapers Al Mada and Kitabat hacked in the continued war on a free press in Iraq.  The good news is Al Mada is currently back up.

This is Iraq -- where Iraq Body Count reports 121 people have been killed in just the first seven days of this month.

iraq body count

The country where Moqtada al-Sadr delivers a major televised speech on Friday . . . and the English language coverage is left to Jane Arraf and her Twitter feed . . . and she distorts what he says.  Two Tweets and she can't even provide accuracy.

The Friday snapshot provided an overview of what Moqtada said and provided the context for the remarks.

Twitter can be a powerful medium.  In oppressed countries like China or the US, activists can use Twitter to provide real-time, accurate coverage of protests and demonstrations.

Twitter can also be an instrument of blather.  As foreign (non-Iraqi) journalists in Iraq demonstrate blathering on about 'issues' like plastic surgery and sports.

In fact, the great revelation from Twitter may be just how banal and superficial so many professional journalists actually are.

Which actually explains a great deal.  Such as how they fail to report on Moqtada's speech or how they miss the Reform Commission which has been meeting for two weeks now.

The Reform Commission is supposedly the body that will end the ongoing political crisis.  Supposedly it will, according to its head Ibraham al-Jaafari, have real power and be able to force concessions.

We're less optimistic because it seems like yet another attempt by Nouri to kick the can down the road and hope the people forget what caused the crisis to begin with (Nouri refusing to follow the contract he signed in November 2010 -- the Erbil Agreement).  But don't worry, superficial reporters will never trouble Americans with that or any other details about how bad things really are in Iraq.

Instead, they'll just continue Tweeting like the mindless twits they are.

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