Third Party & Independents Archives

September Thirteen

“At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone Sunday. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq’s most-feared insurgent organization.”
That is what the news sources like Fox News, MSNBC, CBS and Salon are saying about the recent attacks in Iraq by the U.S. Military.

Here are snippets of text from some of the news articles:

CBS News: “The U.S. military said jets carried out a precision strike on a site in Fallujah where forces loyal to Jordanian-born terror suspect Abu Muse al-Sarawak were meeting.”
Okay, so let’s define their view of “precision”. This quote speaks for itself. “Dr. Adel Khamis of the Fallujah General Hospital said at least 16 people were killed, including women and children, and 12 others wounded.” That is “precision” to the United States. More innocent lives lost.
MSNBC: “Based on analysis of these reports, Iraqi Security Forces and multinational forces effectively and accurately targeted these terrorists while protecting the lives of innocent civilians.”
Okay, so let’s also define their view of “accurately” and “protecting”. I’ll just let the quote speak again. “Dr. Adel Khamis of the Fallujah General Hospital said at least 16 people were killed, including women and children, and 12 others wounded.” Does it read better this time when accuracy and protection are considered?
Salon: “One strike hit an ambulance as it sped away with wounded, a hospital official said; the U.S. military said innocent lives were spared.”
“Precision”, “accuracy”, and “protection”...
Fox News: “This strike further erodes the capability of the Zarqawi network and increases safety and security throughout Iraq,” the military statement said.
“Safety”, and “security”... Add those to our list of vocabulary for the night as well.

You might conclude as I have that there is more to the story than the U.S. mainstream media wants us to believe. Common Dreams quotes an Army Major:

“The helicopter fired on the Bradley to destroy it after it had been hit earlier and it was on fire,” said Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. “It was for the safety of the people around it.”
Democracy Now! further reports on the deaths, including the slaying of the reporter from al Arabiya, Mazen al-Tumeisi. Reporters and civilians on site tell a very different story than the U.S. media does. In an interview between Amy Goodman and Patrick Cockburn of the London Independent, Cockburn recalls:
“But in any case, if you look at the video of the al Arabiya correspondent who was killed, you can see that he’s standing about 150 yards from the Bradley and it was here that the rockets landed. It wasn’t actually close. They were aiming for the Bradley and they certainly missed it and fired straight into the crowd. There shouldn’t be any doubt about this, because sadly, we have film of the
moment that the rockets landed killing all these people.”
Cockburn also disagrees with Major Phil Smith on the idea that the U.S. was simply trying to destroy the Bradley vehicle:
“I mean, the reason they put forward is that they wanted to destroy the arms and ammunition on board of the vehicle, which had been abandoned in the middle of Haifa Street, but again, this is peculiar to do this from the air because when this vehicle was hit by a bomb, they removed the wounded, and it would have been quite easy to, you know, -- if you wanted to destroy the vehicle at that stage safely to simply put an explosive charge or grenade inside, which I have seen done in Baghdad before, but it’s pretty amazing to wait and then attack your own vehicle from the air when there are crowds around it. And in this case, you don’t even hit the vehicle. You fire your rockets 150 yards away.”
The Guardian brings us a recap of the events from a witness, G2 columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad:
“I had just reached the corner of the cube when I heard two explosions, I felt hot air blast my face and something burning on my head. I crawled to the cube and hid behind it. Six of us were squeezed into a space less than two metres wide. Blood started dripping on my camera but all that I could think about was how to keep the lens clean. A man in his 40s next to me was crying. He wasn’t injured, he was just crying. I was so scared I just wanted to squeeze myself against the wall. The helicopters wheeled overhead, and I realised that they were firing directly at us. I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to hide under the others.”
So there you have it, folks. On one hand we have the United States calling this a “precision” and “accurate” attack on terrorists which has increased the “safety” and “security” in Iraq. On the other hand we have reporters on the scene (that are still living) calling the attacks unjustified and brutal. Both sets of sources detail the death of innocent civilians, but the first hand tries to present these events in a positive light, as if they further efforts to remove terrorism in the world.

It seems that once again reporting inside and outside of the U.S. has developed quite a few discrepancies in the facts and figures. Is it any wonder that so many Americans these days fear that the Federal Government is not being honest with them? I know that I for one am sick and tired the war in Iraq.

Posted by Adam Ducker at September 14, 2004 2:02 AM