Let’s turn the ‘civil war’ into a media war

by William Bowles • Sunday, 26 February, 2006

What you can do

Demonstration against the occupation in Baghdad’s Sad’r city February 22, 2006. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem

I must say that the independent media have done a damn good job in exposing the sham that is the 'civil war' in Iraq. However, before we get all righteous, the corporate/state media still need to be called to task over their distorted and misleading coverage, replete with every stereotype; ethnic, religious, 'tribal', et al, as well their predictable 'I told you so' bullshit and predictions of doom.

Yet the reality is, that if the agent provocateurs are allowed to continue in their murderous assault on the good people of Iraq on behalf of their USUK paymasters, the situation could well reach the proverbial 'point of no return'.

Therefore, I suggest readers take it upon themselves to bombard the MSM with stories, links, eyewitness accounts etc of what really went down at the Askariyah shrine in Samarra.

How much longer are we to stand by, full of anger and outrage at the propaganda campaign being waged on our consciousness?

To this end, I have compiled a list of links to accounts and I have also included a list of email addresses to which you can forward or write your own objections at the end of the newsletter.

It’s all in the timing


Many commentators on the left have pointed to the 'fortuitous' timing of the blast coming as it did hot on the heels of the videos of the beatings of Iraqi youth by British troops and more horrific images of the treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib by US forces. As night follows day, every time there is a 'PR disaster' for the occupiers, some diversion is engineered to divert us from the crisis that has become the 'liberation' of Iraq.

Undoubtedly, the bombing bears all the hallmarks of a so-called black-ops, after all the entire area surrounding the mosque was supposedly under occupation control in a 'free-fire' zone, so how come a handful of men were able to penetrate a cordon of heavily armed occupation forces?

Predicably, Western pundits are now predicting all-out 'civil war' between Sunni and Shiite but then they started doing that back in 2003, shortly after the disastrous invasion and occupation. But what does the puppet government stand to gain from triggering a civil war? Nothing: everything points to Western, that is, USUK involvement in an effort to Balkanise the country, which as many have pointed out, has been intrinsic to USUK strategic doctrine in Iraq for the past six years.

"This is a terrorist act that is aimed to fan a sectarian strife among Iraqis", said Sheikh Ahmed Daye, member of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars. The Occupation-appointed president Jalal Talabani said: "We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq's unity. We should all stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war". Others in the puppet government have pointed the finger at the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad for inciting the violence and for interfering in Iraqi political and domestic affairs. Thousands of ordinary Iraqis took to the streets throughout Iraq denouncing the U.S. and Israel.

Divide and rule, a tactic that has been used for centuries especially by British colonialism and every act of the occupiers since March 2003 points to this as the central strategy of the USUK.

"[W]e have widespread evidence that the outside forces are attempting to instigate a civil war here and Iraqis are conscious of that and have made determined effort not to respond to it" – Dr. Saad Jawad, a political scientist at Baghdad University.

Most tellingly, the desecration of the mosque has had the opposite effect than the one intended; far from dividing Sunni and Shiite, it has in fact united them, once more revealing just how out of touch the occupiers are with the Iraqi people.

The Western media has, of course, played its part in spreading the myth of 'sectarian violence' with gory headlines such as the one in the Independent on 23/2/06, "The day hell was unleashed". The body of story bylined to Patrick Cockburn, contained the usual deceits, with talk of a "lethal step closer to disintegration and civil war" followed by similar omens that fit the Western pre-conceptions of a society that according to Cockburn "has always been riven by sectarian divisions." An amazingly inaccurate statement when you consider that modern Iraq was created by British colonialism in the 1920s and set up along predictable 'ethnic and religious' lines.

And of course, the piece contains the predictable statements about the role of Iran in fomenting the strife with reference to meddling by the Iranian government, who are, according to Cockburn (and/or his sub-editor) the lynchpin of any Shia reaction to the bombing. Great minds think alike eh.

Entirely missing from the article is any reference to the presence of occupation forces as the primary cause of the breakdown of order from day one of the occupation. But it's in the Independent's editorial where the ideological methodology that binds the corporate media to the capitalist state is spelled out for us,

…the terrible events of yesterday served only to highlight the utter impotence of outsiders [sic] (even British cabinet ministers) to save Iraqis from themselves.

And if this statement is not enough, even hardened unpackers of the capitalist press to swallow, the following makes even more outrageous reading

There might have been a time when strings [sic] tugged sharply by the occupiers could have had some effect …. With ever fewer vulnerable foreign civilians to target, the insurgents have turned on other Iraqis.

Which planet do the editors of the Independent live on I wonder? The same editorial, in its usual sanctimonious way continues

Not for the first time, we are contemplating the all too predictable consequences of a reckless invasion and the hopelessly mismanaged occupation that followed.

So as far as the Independent is concerned, the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis is merely the result of recklessness and bad management style!

See also:

Protests Planned Against Media War Coverage
Danny Schechter
…America’s largest anti-war coalition, United For Peace and Justice, is broadening its anti-war protest to include targeting a US media system that has largely substituted jingoism for journalism and backed the war – often in the name of supporting the troops. UFPJ Coordinator Leslie Cagan announced that her organization is partnering with MediaChannel.org and other media groups to organize a Media Day of War Coverage Protest on March 21, 2006. It takes part during a week of organizing and activism marking the third anniversary of the war. Plans are also underway for forums and film screen
ings on March 20th…
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.info/?p=20989

Eyewitness Accounts

Witness 1:

I live in a district very near to the mosque and I will tell you exactly what I saw hours before the bombing.

There is a daily curfew in our city (Samarra) starts from 8,00 in the evening until 6,00 in the morning, in the night before the bombing and just when it’s getting dark there was unusual activities by the ING in the area around the mosque, I heard their cars the whole night until next day in the morning.

The Mosque Guards testimony says: Four people with ING uniforms blind folded them and set the bombs.

The witness continues, so ask I you how could the terrorists enter the area which is usually surrounded by the ING and enter the mosque then runway without being got by the police?.


Witness 2:

Witness 2 gives more detailed information and the Americans connection to the events before the bombing, so I made it as timeline of the events.

My name is Muhammad Al-Samarrai, I own an internet-cafe near the mosque, I sleep in my shop because I am worry about my computers from thieves.

8,30 (evening) joint forces of Iraqi ING and Americans asked me to stay in the shop and don’t leave the area.

9,00 (evening) they left the area.

11,00 (evening) they came back and started to patrol the area until the morning.

6,00 (next day morning) ING leave the area .

6,30 Americans leave the area .

6,40 first explosion.

6,41 second explosion.

He confirmed again that the curfew starts at 8,00 (evening) until next day 6,00 (morning), INGs and the Americans will surround and patrol the city all that time.


Minister Says Iraq Shrine Bombing Was Specialist Job:
Took 12 Hours To Plant Explosives

2/24/2006 Agence France Presse, BAGHDAD

The bombing of a revered Shiite shrine which sparked a wave of violence in Iraq was the work of specialists, Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said Friday, adding that the placing of the explosives must have taken at least 12 hours.

“According to initial reports, the bombing was technically well conceived and could only have been carried out by specialists,” the minister told Iraqia state television.

Jaafar, who toured the devastated thousand-year-old shrine on Thursday a day after the bombing which brought down its golden dome, said “holes were dug into the mausoleum’s four main pillars and packed with explosives.”

“Then the charges were connected together and linked to another charge placed just under the dome.  The wires were then linked to a detonator which was triggered at a distance,” the minister added.

To drill into the pillars would have taken at least four hours per pillar, he also estimated.

Some links to articles

Exit without a strategy Sami Ramadani 24/2/06

Occupation and Sectarianism by Ghali Hassan 23/2/06

Civil War in Iraq: Who are the Winners and Who are the Losers by Yamin Zakaria 23/2/06

Mosque Outrage Also Brings Solidarity Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed 25/2/06

Update: Samarra Catastrophe Salam Adil
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=21004

CNN Pundit: Mosque Bombing Shows Bush Strategy Is Working In Iraq
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=2099

The Caricatures in Middle East Politics James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya – peacepalestine
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=20992

Iraq shrine bombing was specialist job: minister AFP
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=20998

Samarra Felicity Arbuthnot
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=21001

The neo-con plan for Iraq civil war
valleycat, Daily Kos
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.info/?p=20975

Is western media complicit in the murder of Iraqis? Truth About Iraqis
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.info/?p=20974

Mission Accomplished in Iraq! an iraqi tear
Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.info/?p=20986

This is by now means a complete list, I know there are some that I've missed, so all who have contributed and who are not included here, apologies all round.

Some Media Contacts

Helen Boaden
Email: HelenBoaden.Complaints@bbc.co.uk

Write to Paul Reynolds
Email: Paul.Reynolds-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

Write to Jeremy Bowen
Email: jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk

Nicholas Witchell
Email: nicholas.witchell@bbc.co.uk

Mary Riddell
Email: mary.riddell@observer.co.uk

Write to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger
Email: alan.rusbridger@guardian.co.uk

Write to the Guardian’s Timothy Garton Ash
Email: tga@timothygartonash.com

Write to the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee
Email: polly.toynbee@guardian.co.uk

Write to the Times’ Gerard Baker
Email: gerard.baker@thetimes.co.uk

Write to Simon Kelner, editor of the Independent:
Email: s.kelner@independent.co.uk

Write to Leonard Doyle, foreign editor of the Independent:
Email: l.doyle@independent.co.uk

Write to Bruce Anderson
Email: b.anderson@independent.co.uk




Comments, desires, beefs, suggestions, etc are always welcome. Email me at editor@williambowles.info
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