The media rightly come in for a lot of criticism on this blog, particularly because of the way they portray conflicts such as the one in Iraq and for the way they dress up official western propaganda as news stories. Today's column in the Grundian by Henry Porter
is a classic example of somebody who understands little or nothing about what is happening in the middle-east, little or nothing about islam or muslim cultures, next-to-nothing about who the agents of terrorism are in Iraq and why. Porter says that 'Islam' cannot continue using the presence of Western troops as an alibi and must condemn the chlorine bombs'. Leaving aside the preposterous notion of a united Islamic community failing to despair at the violence and the deliberate failure of the media to publicise the views of the majority of muslims, this is also an objectionable statement as it (deliberately?) ignores the role of western intelligence agencies, their representatives in sponsoring the civil war. Where do the large amounts of cash
shipped into Baghdad vanish to? Many of the Shia and Sunni death squads are linked to and controlled by the US military. Yes, the Sadrists and others have their own militias too as do the Sunni's but that is an inevitable consequence when whole communities come under attack from unknown quarters. Many militia's do not even know where their funding comes from and the links between CIA, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence allow the west to control many militant groups indirectly whilst fomenting a civil war by large scale attacks on Shia districts and markets. They also train Iraqi army units and intelligence consisting largely of Shia recruits, allowing them to straddle both sides of the religious divide. The independent Shia militias know full well that it is Sunni groups attacking them so they attack and kidnap Sunnis, leading to a circle of violence that according to western media opinion just looks like bloody civil war and savagery that is innate to Arabs or Muslims. Porter puts it down to the 'impenetrable pathologies
', which is code for they are savages who were bound to do this for no good reason other than 'blood lust'
. By way of comparison he mentions the Khmer rouge. Porter continues:
it is weirder in Iraq because the Sunni extremists of al-Qaeda are killing and torturing more Sunnis than Shia, let alone US soldiers.The thought process is psychopathic: it has the same logic we heard in the ravings of the gunman at Virginia Tech. There is a similarity of exhibitionism, too, a need for attention that must escalate the horror to maintain some kind of foothold in the Western news bulletins
There you have it. The situation is due to large number of psychopaths on the loose and they are obsessed with getting the headlines in Western news bulletins by ever more savage displays of carnage.
If the number of attacks diminished, the Americans and British troops would leave Iraq far faster than seems likely at the present. The situation, therefore, can no longer be taken for a classic resistance of an occupying force. Nor can it be entirely seen as the opposite, that is to say a guerrilla war that is maintained by Islamist, Shia and Ba'athists groups for the sole purpose of engaging the American and British military.The proof of this lies in the fact that the great majority of casualties are caused by Arabs killing Arabs, Muslims slaughtering Muslims...These monsters in Iraq must have felt a mite frustrated by the events on an American campus last week, especially as a double attack on a university campus in Baghdad in January killed twice as many students but rated a mere day's coverage in the West.
This passage shows the new media pathology. Blame it all on the insurgent opposition - despite our previous fault, we have suddenly become peacekeepers who want to leave Iraq as fast as possible (despite the 15 or so permanent bases we are building and despite the US building a gigantic new embassy in Baghdad). The casualties may be down to bombs but to say that it is simply Arabs killing Arabs is to ignore the money and people behind the bombs and the violence. In fact this is also a misleading statement because the majority of attacks are still on the occupying troops but these attacks lead to far fewer casualties than the soft civilian targets that cause the huge daily death toll. This is just a device to absolve the western powers of their role in the continuing violence whilst acknowledging past 'mistakes'. Who tells us that Muqtada Al-Sadr runs all Shia death squads? Our media of course, who get their information comfortably sitting in the military briefing rooms within the Green Zone, from the very same people who deploy disinformation and psy-ops to try and counter the bad news each day.
Our catastrophic blunder has removed the need for any moral calibration in Islam of what Muslims are doing to Muslims in Iraq. In the West, there are many, who, because they were passionately against the war, fail to see that they ought to refine their judgment on the men who thrill to the idea of perfecting a chlorine bomb that will maim, blow apart or asphyxiate the workman who has just got off shift, the housewife loaded down with groceries, the student waiting to meet a friend. The chlorine bombers are not freedom fighters
This is another popular tactic on the liberal left. The invasion was a 'catastrophic blunder' rather than a purposely designed occupation designed for a strategic foothold in the region and to control the oil supply on our behalf. They also blame the war opposition for not seeing the innate savagery of the barbarians that are Muslims and Arabs.
The era of what has been called Bush's 'moralising foreign policy' is over and Dr Rice is said to be on a mission to listen.
Really? Has anybody bothered to inform the Iranians who are under threatened with imminent attack by either the US with another 'shock and awe' or bombing by the US proxy zionists? For Porter the situation is simple enough. The violence is due to:
a number of opportunistic death cults, the most crazed and narcissistic of which is probably al-Qaeda, though the Shia death/torture squads fielded by Muqtada al-Sadr run a pretty close second.
Is this Bush and Blair's fault? Ultimately, yes because they opened the fissure that released the superheated gases of Islamist fanaticism.
The article ends with another delusion. There is apparently no narcissm in the way western troops behave in Iraq despite what we know now about Haditha, Fallujah, Abeer Ali and her family, Baha Musa, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, secret CIA torture camps and the countless other examples. Blair and Bush don't make it to the high court of Henry Porter for charges of genocide but do get an ASBO for provoking the blood-thirsty hordes that dwelt in that god forsaken place that was Iraq. Here is another demand for the muslim world:
The Muslim world has to find its own way of speaking up for humanity and civilisation and, for a start, to condemn the chlorine bombs.
Here are a few rhetorical questions. How does one speak up for humanity when the listener wears ear plugs and refuses to look at you? When will the real opposition to the carnage in Iraq be listened to without them being associated with the murderers? When will opposition to occupation not lead to the automatic assumption that one supports the beheaders and the torturers? When will the west stop portraying muslims as barbaric savages who cannot control themselves whether they live in the East or the West. When will the western media tell the reality of the situation and reveal what OUR troops AND agents do in Iraq on a daily basis? I do not seek to absolve Muslims or Arabs of blame for bloodshed. A very great number of them have a lot to answer for, but not for the reasons Porter suggests. The fact that Halliburton are being greeted in Dubai with delight and open arms is proof enough that for some people the money matters far more than human lives. This is something they have in common with a lot of people over here in the West.