Coalition officials, as well as many members of the non-Shi'a communities, have been uneasy for some time about Al Hawza's aggressive agitation in favor of the swift withdrawal of occupation forces followed by immediate elections which could lead to the establishment of an Iranian-style government in Iraq. As a pretext for shutting down the newspaper, US authorities cited a recent story about an attack on Iraqi police recruits which blamed a US missile, rather than an insurgent car-bomb, for the powerful explosion which killed about 50.
The March 29th New York Times article by Jeffrey Gettleman about the Al Hawza closure begins with this sentence:
"US soldiers closed a Baghdad newspaper after occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incite violence"
This news must make the New York Times itself quake in its GI boots!Why? Because it is now a well-known fact that the Times itself, and in particular a Times reporter named Judith Miller, is responsible for printing numeous false stories about the previous government of Iraq which incited a US-led invasion and which has caused the deaths tens of thousands of people thus far. The same applies to many other US news organizations, whose deliberate distortions about Iraq go back for decades and have played a role in garnering US support of proxy rebellions and embargoes of vital supplies which have killed well over a million Iraqis.
If the US authorities should begin to apply the same standards to US media as it does to those of Iraq, it could lead to dark days for the corporate news industry, but perhaps a brighter future for the truth.