Skip to comments.Minister Tells Media to Fall In Line(Media Inciting Terror Propaganda Will Be Arrested)
Posted on 02/26/2006 6:30:20 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
BAGHDAD: Iraqi newspapers inciting violence will be suspended and their journalists arrested, Defence Minister Saadun Al Dulaimi said yesterday, unveiling a new security plan for the violence-wracked country.
"This is a warning to media working in Iraq," he said in a press conference.
Dulaimi also slammed the media for exaggerating violence since the blowing up of the Al Askariya shrine in Samarra on Wednesday which sparked days of sectarian violence, saying the official death toll was 119 civilians.
"After verification on the ground, 119 civilians were killed since Wednesday, not 183 as reported in the media," he said. "The government calls on them (media) to assume full responsibility and play a role in reinforcing unity and to reject anything promoting violence or sedition," he said.
"We will take disciplinary action against any publication inciting violence or terrorism and its journalists will be arrested."
Dulaimi said that only one mosque had been completely destroyed in the violence and six partially damaged, while one was temporarily occupied and 21 others were lightly damaged.
US coalition spokesman, Major-General Rick Lynch, speaking at a separate news conference, also suggested that the figures on attacks were exaggerated.
"We believe there are people out there generating false reports... making things seem worse than they are," he said. "There have been pockets of violence, but we don't see that as a precursor to civil war," said Lynch, adding that US-led coalition forces have increased their presence alongside Iraqi security forces to defuse the situation.
US and Iraqi forces, over the past 24 hours, sent out 268 patrols into Baghdad and manned an additional 136 checkpoints throughout the capital to reinforce security, the general said. He also suggested the time was right for the government to disband illegal militias, including the Mehdi Army of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.
"The government of Iraq has an opportunity now to get rid of the militias," Lynch said.
A weekly look at events in Iraq, and on the home front.
This week: an examination of the propaganda war that's ongoing in the wake of the Shrine bombing. With our western reporters absent or holed up in Baghdad hotels, propaganda may be all we're hearing this week - and may in fact be the real battle.
The New York Times says More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are In Ruins
Major General Rick Lynch, spokesman for Multi-National Forces-Iraq, described a somewhat different situation on the ground in the wake of the bombing:Here.
Other Times stories would describe a "wave of killings of Sunni Arabs", and the victim's response:
"The attacks, mostly by Shiite militiamen, were troubling not only because they resulted in at least 170 deaths across Iraq, but also because they showed how deeply the militias have spread inside government forces. The Iraqi police, commanded by a Shiite political party, stood by as the rampage spread."
"Now, after watching helplessly as their mosques and homes burned, many Sunni Arabs say they should have the right to form their own militias."
"Time Magazine would caption a photo of the demolished shrine with a claim that "a string of similar attacks to Sunni targets took place across Iraq."
"And even as a government imposed curfew established calm in the region, reports of the numbers of Sunni mosques attacked would skyrocket. By Friday night published claims would reach as high as "184 Sunni mosques" that "had been damaged, some destroyed". But perhaps as an overdue admission that the claims were becoming a bit outlandish, media reports began to qualify the numbers by actually citing the sources.
In the US: Boston Herald
Other versions of the story would feature the larger number.
"The main Sunni religious group said 184 Sunni mosques had been damaged, some destroyed; 10 clerics had been killed and 15 abducted."
This is, in fact, the modus operandi of the Association of Muslim Scholars - an Iraqi Sunni/Ba'athist group formed in the wake of the 2003 invasion. Their role in the current conflict is to fight the "information war" while others conduct the actual shooting. After any atrocity committed by Sunni "insurgents" in Iraq, the Association immediately insists a similar atrocity has been committed by American or Shi'ite forces.
Note that unlike American sources the BBC is willing to acknowledge the ties between the AMS and terrorist groups in Iraq..
"One might wonder why American media sources decline to offer details of The Association of Muslim Scholars, opting to refer to them as simply "an influential Sunni group" or "group of influential Sunni clerics". In fact, it's worthwhile to question why early reports of the mass destruction of Sunni Mosques didn't even acknowledge the group as the source of the claims."
Just prior to the Samarra attacks, Richard Miniter offered an intriguing suggestion that could explain much of the bias in US media coverage of Iraq.
Richard Miniter: Everyone talks about intelligence failures, no one talks about media failures. The media is the people's intelligence service, and it's failing us.
You want to talk about why it's so biased?
Remember before the war, CNN, Eason Jordan made that ridiculous thing where we had to hire the fixers from Saddam's ministry or they'd be executed. We had to cover the Iraqi dictatorship in a certain way... paid Iraqis...
Roger Simon: The blogosphere was all over that one...
Richard Miniter: Who does CNN have working for them now covering the Iraq war?
The same people, the same Iraqi fixers.
So lets see, it's 1946, it's Germany, I need to understand German. Why don't I hire some Nazis to interview some Jewish survivors and explain post-war Germany by hiring Nazis?
They're hiring Ba'athist Sunnis, that's why the coverage is so bad. They went from imbedded with the US troops and just reporting what they saw, and the effect was marvelous. It was accurate, it was up to date, it was interesting, it changed all the time.
And now it's formulaic and ideological.
Because their fixers, their intermediaries between their safe little lives in the Palestine or al Rashid Hotels and the outside world are former members of the regime.
In fact, in at least one case last year a CBS-employed stringer was arrested for helping "insurgents" with a car bomb.
We need this guy STATESIDE!
"Better be careful" ping (to the morons in CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, BBC, Reuters, AP, etc.)
Wow- I hadn't thought of that. Do you really think they would arrest a AP reporter for inciting violence?
Meanwhile, out of the eye of the MSM...
Unity Protests Break Out in Basra, Mosul, Hillah, Al Kut, Karbala...
I sure as hell hope so. I'd love to see some AP/ Reuters/ NY Slimes/ Washington Pist ^sshole perp-walked straight to Abu Ghraib.
I like this Iraqi Defense Minister. It seems he understands that this is a war and not ideas for some wannabe fiction writer. American Journalist are guest in Iraq and they should be treated in the same manner even if the article only shows up here.
Wow. Excellent post. Thanks for the information.
The solution to this is to recruit and/or train enlisted and commissioned military journalists (as we've done prior to Vietnam), put them out in the field, and report on the ground realities in Iraq. Regain control of Stars & Stripes - which is now full to the brim with demoralizing AP and Reuters crapola - and start reporting the war properly regardless of MSM catcalls.
Rumsfled complains about coverage by the MSM of our military efforts, but has done very little to actually improve the PR and reporting efforts that can be made without a great deal of effort.