portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

human & civil rights | imperialism & war | media criticism

US Shuts Down Baghdad Paper--Will New York Times Be Next?

Officials of the US-led Coalition Authority closed down the offices of Baghdad's Al Hawza newspaper on Sunday, March 28. Al Hawza is popular among segments of the Shi'a community who support theocratic government in Iraq.
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.
Apply the same rules... 29.Mar.2004 09:09

Nadia

Very good point.

"Free Speech and Democracy for All" 29.Mar.2004 09:44

CatWoman

No, the New York Times has nothing to fear. Why? Because they're the corporate media. They, and CNN and the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, and all the other outlets of corporate propaganda are protected from harm by their ability to deliver you, the audience, to the factories, the front lines, and the shopping malls where you are needed to grease the wheels of the capitalist state.

"Free speech" and "freedom of the press" are just words. Powerful words, used to roll over other nations and convince our citizens how great things are here even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But empty words just the same.

what CatWoman said 29.Mar.2004 16:52

Engineering Consent - from Portland IMC 25.Mar.2004

Engineering Consent: The New York Times' Role in Promoting War on Iraq

excellent overview of mainstream corporate media buildup to illegal, WMD-less Iraq invasion - extensive sublinks and references within.

This is the first 'Engineering consent' column by Antony Loewenstein, to focus on the inside workings of big media.

"One of the most entrenched and disturbing features of American journalism [is] its pack mentality. Editors and journalists don't like to diverge too sharply from what everyone else is writing." Michael Massing, The New York Review of Books, February 26, 2004

"In April 2003, CNN aired footage of a marine in Baghdad who is confronted with a crowd of angry Iraqis. He shouts back in frustration, "We're here for your fucking freedom!" George Packer, The New Yorker, November 24, 2003


The standard is the same 30.Mar.2004 00:54

Dio

You're with us, or you're with the terrorists.

But the Islamists hate the Ba'thists 02.Apr.2004 00:55

!?!?!?

Doesn't that mean Iraq could have saved "us" a huge amount of expense and grief and remained off limits to al Qaeda if Bush had played his cards a little smarter?