Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iraq War Dead Crosses 2000 - A Lie

While I sit in an air conditioned mosque and break my fast with the sweetest of dates and spiciest of chicken, it is hard to pause and reflect that in some other parts of the world, people leave their homes and do not know if they will come back (Iraq), or they have gone to bed having everything but woken up with nothing (Pakistan quake victims).

The US media have been covering the 2000th death in Iraq as a grim milestone. I don't know what is a milestone. What about the 100,000th Iraqi death? Was it not a milestone?

When asked once about civilian deaths, General Tommy Franks, US Central Command chief replied, "We don'’t do body counts."

In the blog "Truth About Iraqis", the author posts,

"Democracy cannot, should not, and will not be measured by the power to vote. It will be measured by the sanctity of human life."

As I posted during Katrina that "society is judged by how they treat their poorest, their weakest, and their most vulnerable citizens". And Bush's government was found wanting, yet the Americans were not (over 70% of Americans donated to charities).

This article refers to how 'liberals' will destroy America. It uses the British Empire as a parallel and points how soft thinking ruined the great empire. While I am sure the British Empire made great contributions such as road and infrastructure to its colonies, it also had many dark chapters. The slaughter of innocent protesters at Amritsar, the cutting of fingers of the muslin weavers of Bengal, the rape of tribal women in Africa, and so on. So maybe it was a good thing the British decided to disband their empire.

The US media will choose to focus on the US dead and ignore the suffering of Iraqis. CNN's Christian Amanpour is one US reporter I have seen to ask and report on their lives, and how unsafe it has been for the normal Iraqis. One Iraqi woman wailed into the camera, "What kind of life is this, just eating and sleeping? We have no life."

Those are the stories that need to be told. The pro-Republican media, led by Fox, will tarnish the liberals for 'weakening' America with their anti-war cry. However it is the liberals who will ensure America lives up to her ideals.

"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce - and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it vas not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."
- President Ronald Reagan, 1982.



Shabina said...

ugh. Ronald Reagan. Don't get me started.

Yeah, I was talking to a journalist friend of mine who was having an attack of conscience about covering our soliders' plights so much more than those of the Iraqi people. So hard to make people care!

katy said...

Ironically if you read Military produced publications (such as the Navy Times) you hear much more about the plight of the US's allies in Iraqi (meaning the Iraqi citizens) than you'll ever see in something like the New York Times. You'll also hear about people who have immigrated to Iraq AFTER O.I.F. to begin small businesses and how one can help get things up and running.

I was just told a story tonight about a sailor who was in O.I.F. with my husband and roommate. He had some how convinced himself that they weren't there to drop bombs. When they finally explained to him how it worked - he wept. He wept for the way-more-than 2000 Americans who have been killed in Iraq before and after this war and for the people who shot at them, and for the people who never raised arms against anyone, but who suffered. They all wept.

The real point is to take everyday as an opportunity to make it better - rather than worse.

mezba said...

Shabina: In my opinion the US media for some reason does not cover civilian stories much, watch the BBC for that. They provide a more balanced view. I guess it's because BBC is publicly funded and does not have to compete for ratings. As a journalist you probably know better if that's a factor as to what stories to cover. I heard Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck" deals with this syndrome.

Katy: Checking the Navy Times site now. I don't think the average US soldier starts by thinking I am going there to drop bombs. Americans are decent people. Unfortunately war has a habit of changing mindsets. The terrible insurgency makes you jumpy and hesitant, and pretty soon innocents start getting killed. The only solution I can think of is having the Arab countries send their own army to Iraq (so as not to be seen as occupiers). Too bad the Iraqis won't see it that way. The situation looks bleak. Even if the Arab Sunnis and Arab Shias manage to live in peace, I dont think the Kurds will want to remain in Iraq (remember Kurds include both Kurd Shias and Kurd Sunnis - It's like Catholics and Protestants).

Abu Sinan said...

I read your post on "the religious policeman" site. He is not a Saudi, nor is he an Arab. I dont know who he is or what his agenda is, but he is lying. He called a real Saudi, whom I know personally "mr Farah". In the Middle East "Farah" is NEVER a females name, never. Any Saudi or Arab would know this. He does know a lot about the Middle East and Saudi, but it is the little things that trip people up. NO Arab would assume that someone named "Farah" is a female. He backtracked on the issue, tried to clip it from his post, then provided contradictory explainations as to why he thought Farah was a male's name. He was caught out on another blog impersonating a Jewish man, and then was unable to provide answers as to why his Arabic was so poor.

It has now become a hub for racists and Islamophobes. To think that at one point I looked off and on for months for his blog to come back. I have talked to some real Saudi reformers, they seem to think his blog is actually working to DISCREDIT reformers, not help them. I agree.

Mike Crichton said...

About the Religious Policeman: While I can't say for _sure_ that he's a fake (Lakin, fi ra'i, huwa kathib), I do know for a fact that he edits people’s comments.