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Playing With Words In Iraq

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  • World View
    Al Jazeera Under US Occupation? Al Jazeera Deletes Captured U.S. Soldier s Comments http://www.newtrendmag.org Rumours that Al Jazeera has fallen under
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2004
      Al Jazeera Under US Occupation?

      Al Jazeera Deletes Captured U.S. Soldier's Comments


      Rumours that Al Jazeera has fallen under American occupation were
      fuelled the other day when the satellite TV broadcast images of a
      captured US soldier in Iraq.

      During the first broadcasts, captive Keith Maupin said he'd come to
      Iraq to liberate it, but actually hadn't wanted to come at all, that
      he was married and had a 10-year-old daughter.

      The exclusive report was snapped up by the world's media, including
      the TV's troubled, english language website and duly reported.
      Palestinian Ahmad Sheikh, who has somehow fallen on his feet and into
      the job of the Arabic TV chief editor, appears to have been called by
      his US masters and told to edit the PoW's inflammatory comments.

      That evening, Sheikh, known in Jazeera circles as the Armchair
      Jihadi, telephoned the english newsroom and, without bothering to ask
      for any supervising editor, instructed Jordanian journalist Natasha
      Twal to pull the soldier's comments from the news items. He then
      ordered the Arabic website to do the same. The next Al Jazeera
      television broadcast had also deleted Maupin's personal comments
      which the White House found so offensive.

      As a result, everyone else was quoting the original Al Jazeera report
      in full, while Ahmad Sheikh had gagged and censored his own team,
      even though the soldier's comments were already aired and public
      knowledge! Rivals, BBC online produced a more substantial article
      than both of Al Jazeera's websites did based on the original Al
      Jazeera exclusive!

      Still George W Bush and his chickenhawks can always take comfort from
      the fact they have a friend in Al Jazeera they can rely on - well
      done Ahmad Sheikh.

      This is the same man, you will remember, who sacked sisters Yvonne
      Ridley and Shaista Aziz when he headed the english website because
      their exclusive news stories upset the Americans and Israelis.

      Aah, now the reasons for his promotion are becoming clear.

      Upside Down In Fallujah:

      Our Americans are the "foreign fighters" who were not invited to
      Fallujah or Iraq

      The American media and military are upside down in Fallujah.

      Sam Hamod

      04/28/04: "ICH" Today, in what was called "a defensive action", the
      American troops attacked hospitals, ambulances, schools and homes in
      the center of Fallujah. This is just another twisting of the language
      to make attack seem like defense, aggression and occupation to sound
      like peace and freedom; our media has gone along, unquestioningly,
      with this—like tame parrots. But this is no different than what has
      been going on since America entered Iraq. Alfred Korzybski, the
      famous general semanticist would turn over in his grave if he could
      hear this abuse of language by our American military and media.

      General Kimmit and Dan Senor keep talking about "insurgents"
      and "foreign fighters" trying to intimidate the people of Fallujah.
      Actually, they are upside down, Our Americans are the "foreign
      fighters" who were not invited to Fallujah or Iraq and it is America
      who is trying to "capture" the city, to "destroy the fighters", most
      of whom are Fallujahans. And, as General Kimmit said again today, "We
      intend to send in patrols, but we will observe this cease fire
      truce." He also sends in Apaches who attack groups of Iraqis from the
      sky, with no apparent justification. But, of course, this is not
      breaking the truce—at least none of our correspondents report it that
      way, even though their cameramen show the Apaches firing into
      Fallujah and buildings going up in smoke.

      Who does General Kimmit think he's kidding—actually, most of the
      American media I guess, because they are the only ones in the world
      who don't understand that to send in patrols is to antagonize the
      people of Fallujah and this behavior is meant to intimidate the
      people as well. So, the Fallujhans fire at the hostile patrols who
      have not been invited into their city. And, to the American media,
      this is hostility and it's the fault of the Fallujhans, who our media
      correspondents say, "Are breaking the cease fire."

      Unfortunately, so much of the picture of this war that our media is
      giving us is upside down, and the vocabulary has been twisted words
      so that they are also upside down.

      Let's take for example the aforementioned "foreign fighters." It
      implies, nay, it states that the Iraqis are the foreigners and the
      Americans are the natives.

      Let's look at "insurgents." It's as if the Iraqis are not allowed to
      defend their homes and cities, that we have the right to declare what
      is normal and is the law, and those who happen to be the indigenous
      people are now, "the insurgents."

      We have Apaches, F16s, and various missiles we use that destroy
      homes, women, children, schools, hospitals and yet we call those who
      stand up to stop us from destroying their homes, their families and
      their culture, "terrorists." Once again, they have turned the
      language upside down on its head; of course, our media assists
      Kimmit, Rumsfeld, Senor and Bush by never questioning them about how
      they have done this semantic mislabeling.

      Of course, some of the old Kissinger terms are thrown in at
      times, "'We're going to pacify this city," which means, we're going
      in to kill those who oppose us, and maybe do some "collateral damage"
      (meaning many civilians will probably be killed in the process). Our
      weapons are "surgical", and "precise",which means they may hit within
      50 to 100 yards of their target—we heard that in the first Iraq war,
      then later found out that over 60% of our missiles missed the targets
      by hundreds of yards or even miles.

      Why should we expect this war to be any different, or the lies to be
      any different.

      Anyone who opposes us is "a radical," and must be done away with. If
      I were an Iraqi I would fight back if someone came in and tried to
      take over our country—wouldn't you?

      Of course you would. Then why is it that our media, politicians and
      military can't seem to understand this.

      Ah, I'm getting dizzy from all this Alice in Wonderland use of
      language –I'm sure you are as well. Unfortunately, while our American
      leaders and our generals are abusing the language, thousands of
      Iraqis are being killed, and their nation plundered.

      As one Iraqi professor put it, "The Americans are the new Mongols—
      they want to conquer the world. But, eventually, we drove the Mongols
      out—even though it took some time to do it." I hope our leaders,
      media and generals heard that; but even if they did, I doubt they'd
      fully understand what it really means. The Iraqis know who the
      foreigners are, who the terrorists are—and so does much of the world;
      it will just take time for Americans to wake up and understand how
      upside down their world view actually is.

      Sam Hamod is a former advisor to the U.S. State Department; editor of
      3rd World News; and former Director of The Islamic Center of
      Washington, DC; he may be reached at shamod@...



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