Monday, April 11, 2005


Anti- (must be U.S. right?) Protests in Iraq

Yesterday, John Hinderaker of Powerline reported on some protests that occurred in Iraq the other day, reported in mainstream media outlets as “anti-U.S. and coalition protests.”

Hinderaker forwards translation and commentary:

Haider Ajina, an Iraqi who lives in California and has sent us many valuable translations of articles in Iraqi newspapers, has sent his thoughts on this anniversary, along with this photo:

(via Powerline)

If you relied on the mainstream media for your information about the second
anniversary of the liberation of Iraq, all you probably read about was an
anti-American demonstration by adherents of the dissident cleric al-Sadr. Haider
puts those stories into perspective by pointing out that many other Iraqis
turned out to demonstrate with a very different agenda. The sign in the photo
above says, in English: "The mass graves are proof enough to find Saddam guilty
and hang him."

Haider continues:

Iraqis take to the streets on the second anniversary of the liberation of Baghdad. Iraqi government declared it as national day, the day Iraq was freed from Saddam’s barbaric rule. Many of the banners call for the Trial of Saddam and his gang. Other banners condemn terrorist and terrorism. Al-Sadr (who received no seats in the current parliament, because very few voted for him) is taking this opportunity to call for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. His request is counter to
what the elected government is asking for.

Haider makes a very fundamental point here, one that is absent from all of the MSM stories I've seen on the al-Sadr anti-American demonstrations: Al-Sadr's slate got so few votes in January's election that they didn't get a single seat in the Iraqi parliament. Yet, it seems, their ability to turn out a few tattered demonstrators is enough to garner headlines throughout the U.S. Why?

This is equivalent to holding a Pro-military demonstration of 100,000 people, 500 anti-war protesters show up, and the media describes the protests as “anti-war.” Without even mentioning the pro-military rally.

Either big media reporters are completely clueless – maybe they should be the ones to learn Arabic, not the military – or they’re intentionally deceitful. With every discovered failure or indiscretion, the latter conclusion seems almost unavoidable.

It is way past time for the mainstream media to accept that by and large, they were wrong about the war, wrong about the insurgency, wrong about the Iraqi people, and probably wrong about the chances for democracy in the Middle East. Until they get over their denial, their reporting will continue to be wrong-headed, nonsensical, or completely irrelevant.

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