Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Editorial: It must be nice to live in stupidity and avoid Iraq

Day after day, the Iraqis suffer.  Day after day, the US war and occupation goes on.  But if you live in the US, your lucky in that the media shields you from what's going on.  They let you live in ignorance so you don't realize how much damage the US government has done in Iraq or how much we, as citizens of the United States, are responsible for the crimes that have taken place in Iraq and the crimes that continue to take place in Iraq.


This week's example of the abuse of the Iraqi government the US has imposed upon Iraq?  


Reporter Suadad al-Salhy is being targeted.  She reports for MIDDLE EAST EYE and she's previously reported for ASSOCIATED PRESS, REUTERS, ALJAZEERA and THE NEW YORK TIMES.  The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights Tweets:


must protect the journalist, Suadad al-Salhy, who is facing a lawsuit over her newspaper articles. Al-Salhi is one of the most important and prominent Iraqi journalists.





 This is not an exception.  The Iraqi government, regardless of whom is prime minister, targets journalists and has done so over and over.  Martin Chulov,  Hadi al-Mahdi, and Ned Parker are only a few examples of journalists who were targeted while trying to report in Iraq.

Now it's Suadad.  


At the start of this year, Reporters Without Borders noted:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about the increase in attacks on journalists in Iraq, where three have been killed in the first month of the year and a fourth narrowly escaped a shooting attack yesterday. The Iraqi authorities must provide journalists with more protection, RSF said.

In yesterday’s attack, several motorcycle gunmen opened fire on TV presenter Ashteaq Adel on a Baghdad street without managing to hit her. She nonetheless had to be rushed to hospital in a state of shock.


Ashteaq presents a segment on Baghdad-based Asia TV’s “Extra” programme in which she explains news developments. In her segment on 8 December, she called on the authorities to accept their responsibility for the heavy death toll in the wave of anti-government protests that began last October. According to Amnesty International’s latest estimate, around 600 protesters have been killed.


‘’The Iraqi journalists covering the protests are no longer the only ones to be targeted because now even those who talk about the protests during their studio programmes are also in danger,” RSF’s Middle East desk said. “The Iraqi authorities must do everything possible to shed light on this attempt to murder Asia TV’s presenter and to protect not only her but also all the reporters and photographers who are being openly targeted.”


Photojournalist Youssef Sattar was not as lucky as Adel. He was killed by a shot to the head while covering a protest in the central Baghdad neighbourhood of Bab Al-Sharki on 20 January.


Two Dijlah TV journalists, reporter Ahmad Abdelsamad and cameraman Safaa Ghali, were fatally shot while covering anti-government protests in the southeastern city of Basra on 10 January. Abdelsamad died instantly while Ghali died of his injuries after being taken to hospital.


January’s three deaths have brought the total number of journalists killed since the start of the wave of protests to six.


Iraq is ranked 156th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

This is a pattern of real suppression in Iraq.  The same US media that obsesses over everyone of Donald Trump's Tweets and insults refuses to note the reality of actual threats to journalism that have taken place in Iraq and continue to take place in Iraq.

Suadad should be a rallying cry.  Her story is the story of a war against journalism.  Her life is on the line for reporting in Iraq.  And yet the US media can't be bothered with telling you that story. 

Its guilt over its role in selling the Iraq War must be immense -- and should be.

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