25 January 2020 — Moon of Alabama
Fake News in Action
At 10:01 UTC today the Associated Press tweeted that “hundreds” gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.
Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that “hundreds of thousands” are protesting in Baghdad against the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
When AP sent the misleading tweet the commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Forces Jaffar al-Batat had already announced that the number of demonstrators exceeds one million.
That number may well be correct. Reports said that the column of protesters was already eight kilometers long even while many were still arriving.
Muqtada al-Sadr, who had called for the protests but is hardly a ‘radical’, demanded that the U.S. follow the decision of the Iraqi parliament and end its occupation. All U.S. bases in Iraq must be closed, all security agreements with the U.S. and with U.S. security companies must be ended and a schedule for the exit of all U.S. forces must be announced.
Meanwhile the U.S. is pulling strings and tries to carve a new Sunni state out of western Iraq.
Al-Sadr promised to temporarily halt the resistance against the U.S. occupation if the U.S. commits to leaving orderly.