MEDIA CULPA

How the Halifax Daily News "reports" opposition to the Iraq War

 

A reader wrote the Halifax Daily News to challenge its report on the emergency demonstration on Saturday, 10 April 2004 against the slaughter in Fallujah and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. According to information provided to Shunpiking Online, the page 3 report was actually written from the offices of the newspaper in the Burnside Industrial Park in Dartmouth -- not from the event itself -- though this was nowhere mentioned.

To: letterstoeditor@hfxnews.ca

From: sent by e-mail

Subject: re: Dozens protest Iraq violence

Hello

Regarding "Dozens protest Iraq violence", Daily News, April 11. While it is nice to see generally favorable coverage of the protest, there are a few incongruancies that should be brought to light.

Firstly, there were at least 100 people at the protest, not 50.

Secondly, calling the four Americans killed "civilians" is a bit of a misnomer. They were mercenaries, working for Blackwater Securities. I quote Dana Priest, Washington Post, April 6, regarding another incident involving Blackwater:

"Before U.S. reinforcements could arrive, the firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, sent in its own helicopters amid an intense firefight to resupply its commandos with ammunition and to ferry out a wounded Marine, the sources said."

"The Blackwater commandos, most of whom are former Special Forces troops, are on contract to provide security for the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Najaf."

"Blackwater, a security and training company based in Moyock, N.C., prides itself on the high caliber of its personnel, many of whom are former U.S. Navy SEALs. It has 450 employees in Iraq, many of them providing security to CPA employees, including the U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, and to VIPs visiting Iraq."

Thirdly, the violence escalated not just because of the U.S. revenging the deaths of the four Blackwater employees, and not just because after a year of "liberation" the Iraqi people are worse off than before, but also because of very confrontational actions taken by CPA against Sadr -- closing his newspaper (liberation of the press?), suddenly acting on a year old arrest warrant for Sadr, arresting one top aid and killing another, and killing 14 Iraqis loyal to Sadr who were participating in a peaceful protest. What did the CPA expect?

Fourthly, neglecting to mention that at least 1000 Iraqis have died just in this latest offensive. not to mention the thousands of wounded. I quote:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- About 70 U.S.-led coalition troops and 700 Iraqi insurgents have been killed in fighting across Iraq since April 1, but there is no authoritative figure on Iraqi civilian deaths, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Monday."

And all this on top of Iraqis living for 20+plus years under a hated dictator, installed and supported by the west; the Iraq Iran war which left 1 million Iraqi dead, the first Gulf War which killed 100 000-200 000 thousand Iraqis, 12 years of U.S. imposed sanctions and almost daily bombings which killed another 1 000 000 or so, the 2003 invasion which killed at least 10 000 more, and a year of "liberation" chaos and occupation based on false justification. WMD anyone?

We need to be clear: the U.S. is an occupying army, after oil and power.

Thank you,

Jan Meyerowitz
Halifax, N.S.



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