- At long last, the culminating session of the World Tribunal
on Iraq is upon us. As a witness providing testimony, like the other witnesses
I'm being interviewed by many outlets. Today, one of them was by reporters
for one of the larger newspapers in Turkey, the Yeni Safak Newspaper.
- I'll leave the reporters nameless, for reasons you'll
- The newspaper has been translating various articles of
mine into Turkish and running them, particularly those concerning the most
recent Fallujah massacre. The report who was interviewing me today told
me that the former American consulate here, Eric Edelman, asked the Prime
Minister of Turkey to pressure his paper to not run so many of my stories.
- "Why did he do this," I asked him.
- "Edelman said it was the wrong news," he told
me with a smile.
- Turns out Edelman also asked that articles by Robert
Fisk and Naomi Klein not be run so often in Yeni Safak either.
- He smiled at me while he watched the wheels turning in
my head before I smiled back and said, "That makes me very happy,
it means I'm doing my job as a journalist."
- We laughed heartily together at this, as did everyone
else at the table.
- Reminds me of the obtuse hate mails I sometimes receive-confirmation
that I am doing my job - they always make me smile.
- So, the American government is pressuring foreign countries
to censor their news. Aside from the fact that this act is the height of
arrogance by the United States, it makes it exceedingly clear why so many
Americans who rely on the corporate media for their news continue to be
so misinformed/un-informed about the goings on in Iraq. If the American
government is attempting to censor the news in foreign countries, you can
imagine what they are doing at home.
- Because people like Edelman don't want citizens of the
United States to know that events like the massacre of Fallujah or the
atrocities in Abu Ghraib are not isolated incidents.
- People like Edelman don't want people to know what one
of my sources in Baquba just told me today.
- His email reads:
- "Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of
Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American
and Iraqi soldiers came to the city afterwards and cut all the phones,
cut the water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that
until the people of the city bring the "terrorists" to them,
the embargo will continue."
- The embargo has been in place now for one week now, and
- "The Americans still won't anyone or any medicines
and supplies into Buhrez, nor will they allow any people in or out. Even
the Al-Sadr followers who organized some help for the people in the city
(water, food, medicine) are not being allowed into the city. Even journalists
cannot enter to publish the news, and the situation there is so bad. The
Americans keep asking for the people in the city to bring them the persons
who were in charge of destroying the two Humvees on the other side of the
city, but of course the people in the city don't know who carried out the
- People like Edelman don't want people to know about the
recent US attacks in Al-Qa'im and Haditha either. Attacks that Iraqis are
describing as just as bad as the massacre of Fallujah.
- On Haditha and Al-Qa'im, an Iraqi doctor sent me this
- "Listenwe witnessed crimes in the west area of the
country of what the bastards did in Haditha and Al-Qa'im. It was a crime,
a really big crime we have witnessed and filmed in those places and recently
also in Fallujah. We need big help in the western area of the country.
Our doctors need urgent help there. Please, this is an URGENT humanitarian
request from the hospitals in the west of the country. We have big proof
on how the American troops destroyed one of our hospitals, how they burned
the whole store of medication of the west area of Iraq and how they killed
a patient in the wardhow they prevented us from helping the people in al-Qa'im.
This is an URGENT Humanitarian request. The hospitals in the west of Iraq
ask for urgent helpwe are in a big humanitarian medical disaster"
- People like Edelman don't want the public to know that
the same tactics used in Fallujah by the US military-posting snipers around
the city to shoot anyone who moves, targeting ambulances, impeding medical
care, or the detaining of innocent civilians en masse.
- After all, Fallujah is the model. Fallujah is our Guernica.
And now, Haditha, Al-Qa'im can be added to the list, with Baquba and Buhrez
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