Sunday, March 18, 2007

A nation in ruins

Updated below

This is from the British newspaper The Independent today.

2,000,000 Iraqis now live outside Iraq, according to UNHCR
12,000 doctors have fled Iraq since the war began.
   Another 2,000 are said to have been killed, and at least 250 kidnapped
50% Average inflation in 2006, according to the World Bank
6.3 hours of electricity daily in Baghdad in December 2006.
   In May 2003 there were 16-24 hours
32 percentage of people in Iraq with drinkable water
3,700,000 Iraqis now receive food aid from the UN World Food Programme
16% Proportion of Iraqis who said in January that their income meets their basic needs

Would you want to live in a country where only 16% of the population were able to meet basic needs on their income? Where less than third had drinkable water? Would you want to live in a city which provided electricity for only one quarter of each day?

Why doesn’t the American media tell us about this? America has laid waste to entire nation. It is we who created this horror, and we who are perpetuating it. Do we not need to know what we are doing?

The Independent also reports, in the same article,

So far this month 44 American soldiers have been killed, on course to match the 80 deaths in February and 83 in January.

I can find reports in U.S. media that we lost seven today, but nothing about losses for the month. Either the media doesn’t think we want to know that, or the military doesn’t want the media to know it. But British journalists have access to the information, so…

American media is still failing to fulfill its responsibility.

Part of the reason that Bush is not being forced to stop the horror in Iraq is that the media is keeping us insulated from that horror. During Vietnam it was seeing violence and death on our television screens every evening that gave the people of this country the incentive to rise up in mass and force the end of that war.

Why would we rise up for any cause today when the television evening news is merely giving us “person of the week”?


Hundreds of gallons of ink have been expended on the confessions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or, as our media has fondly dubbed him, “KSM.” We have had some intimations that his testimony may be less than entirely factual, but nothing more than suggestion that it may include some minor exaggerations. I’ve read speculation that he was tortured, but no one seems to have any real proof of that and supposedly nobody has admitted it.

Now read The Independent’s take on the subject, in part, headlined,

Confession of 9/11 architect backfires on US

"Almost immediately, however, legal experts said he appeared to be exaggerating his role for his own self-aggrandizement and may also have deliberately floated false claims to send US investigators on wild goose chases."

(Which, it should be noted, is one weakness of using torture.)

"The CIA denies that Mohammed was tortured, but evidence to the contrary has been building for years. Two years ago, a CIA official told ABC News that he had been water-boarded, and had won the admiration of his interrogators because it took him two to two-and-half minutes to start confessing - well beyond the average of 14 seconds observed in others."

Interestingly, ABC News is the evening news that I watch regularly and if they reported that in connection with his recent confession I missed it entirely.

No comments:

Post a Comment