Monday, April 25, 2005

Falljua remade

The NY Times in Falluja

by Mike Whitney
Progressive Trail
April 18, 2005

"Things are almost back to normal here. We have teachers and books. Things are getting better."

-- New York Times, "Vital Signs of a Ruined City Grow stronger in Falluja," March 26, 2005

"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."

-- Rev. Martin Luther King

Cameras aren't allowed in Falluja. Neither are journalists. If they were then we would have first-hand proof of America's greatest war crime in the last 30 years: the Dresden-like bombardment of an entire city of 250,000. Instead, we have to rely on eyewitness accounts that appear on the internet or the spurious reports that sporadically surface in the New York Times and Associated Press. For the most part, the Times and AP have shown themselves to be undependable, limiting their coverage to the details that support the overall goals of the occupation. For example, in the last few weeks both the NYT and the AP ran stories on the alleged progress being made in Falluja. The AP outrageously referred to the battered city as "the safest place in Iraq," a cynical appraisal of what most independent journalists have called nearly total destruction.


The truth about Falluja is far different than the bogus reports in the AP and Times. The fact that even now, a full 6 months after the siege, camera crews and journalists are banned from the city, tells us a great deal about the extent of America's war crimes. Just two weeks ago, a photographer from Al Aribiyya news was arrested while leaving Falluja and his equipment and film were confiscated. To date, he is still being held without explanation and there is no indication when he will be released.


The fairytales in the Times and AP are typical wartime propaganda; no different from the fabrications about Jessica Lynch's heroics or the Dear Leader larking about in Baghdad with a plastic turkey in tow (Bush's "surprise" Thanksgiving day visit).


Falluja is undoubtedly doomed to the same fate as Afghanistan. The media will create the illusion of improvement for the American public, celebrating the meaningless trappings of democracy (sham elections, claims of sovereignty, and the writing of a constitution) while the nation remains fractured and under the brutal rule of the regional warlords. Afghanistan is a lawless, drug colony run by gangsters and narco smugglers. By any standard of measurement, our involvement there has been a complete failure.

The real Afghanistan bears no resemblance to the flourishing democratic republic that graces the pages of American newspapers.

Falluja and the rest of Iraq can expect the very same treatment.


Deregulation, privatization and control of resources, the same model applied over and over again. The real goal is a radical, fundamental change to the system; "shock therapy," the all-purpose antidote prescribed by the global banking and financial establishment. [...] After Iraq has passed through this vicious transition from semi-socialist government to deregulated capitalist colony, it will be entered into the new world order of American protectorates, stripped of its resources and subjected to the tyranny of foreign rule. All government properties and services will be controlled by multinational corporations and all assets will be held by the foreign lending institutions that own the majority shares of the Iraqi National Bank.


The real story of Falluja will never appear in the pages of the New York Times; the banned weapons, the bloated corpses, the thousands of dead animals killed by illicit chemicals, the wasteland of rubble and ruined lives. The magnitude of the crime simply won't fit within the paper's glib account of benign intervention. Rather, the Times is focused on promoting a credible story of "rebirth amid the ruins," of lives patched together by a kindhearted father in Washington and his heavily armed disciples.

They're wasting their time.

  Occupation Watch article