Sunday, May 25, 2014

Editorial: The Western Press Keeps Lying About Iraq

Last week, the preliminary results from the April 30th parliamentary elections in Iraq were released.  It was not a pretty sight.

The Plan for Day 101

Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Plan For Day 101."

The western press had called Nouri the victor before the campaigning even started.  But the results demonstrated Nouri al-Maliki was just as unpopular in 2014 as he was in 2010. 

But somehow the press needed to spin this as a sweeping victory for Nouri.

He won nothing. 

State of Law, his political coalition, won 92 or 93 or 94 seats depending upon whether you were reading Reuters, AP or AFP.  That's not enough to be dubbed prime minister-designate and begin forming a Cabinet.

Nouri defined his goal ahead of the elections.

He wanted no form of a power-sharing government.  He wanted a majority rule government.

In order to have that, he needed to secure 165 seats in Parliament.  He failed.

So he lost.

He will now have to woo other political blocs and try to get them to join in a coalition with him.

As you reflect on what we're writing, you're no doubt not only thinking, "He didn't win."  You're probably also thinking, "Why would the press play this as a victory?"

That's a good question.

And we may have the answer for you.

See, Nouri didn't win in 2006 and he didn't win in 2010.

So how did he get two terms as prime minister?

Because the US government demanded it.  Under Bully Boy Bush, the US government nixed Ibrahim al-Jafaari and demanded Nouri be named prime minister.  That was 2006.  Four years later, US President Barack Obama demanded that Nouri get a second term even though the voters had said otherwise.  He ordered US officials in Iraq to negotiate a contract (The Erbil Agreement) which would go around the voters and the Iraqi Constitution to give Nouri a second term.

Is it possible that the press is yet again serving the interests of empire, specifically US domination, by attempting to portray embarrassing results for Nouri as some form of a sweeping victory?

The Western press has long had a truth problem when it came to Iraq.  Since 2002, it has actively misled and lied  -- with few exceptions --  about the realities of Iraq --  both pre-invasion and post-invasion.

Last week's bad coverage looks less like stupidity and more like duplicity -- an effort by the western press to make those outside of Iraq believe Nouri achieved something when, in fact, he failed at his stated goal and, even with serious allegations of voter fraud (2 million dead voted in the election would be one of the more serious charges), he wasn't able to pull off anything that could pass for a victory.

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