Iraq War

On the day the were reporting yet another “assassination” attempt against Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, the one-sided American news media was soft-balling how three non-embedded journalists had been killed, too.

Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks wasn’t as comical as his counterpart at the Iraqi Ministry of “Information,” Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, in skirting the truth when asked about the deaths.

A reporter for Al-Jazeera, the news agency criticized by Americans for alleged “bias,” and two others including one journalist from Reuters, were killed in two separate incidents by what appeared to be American fire.

American military officials claimed their forces fired back at “snipers” near the Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad killing two journalists. They insisted all day in interviews that American forces have a “right” to respond when fired upon. But a non-embedded NPR radio reporter who is staying at the hotel said no such sniper fire could be heard.

The offices of Al-Jazeera in Baghdad were hit directly by fire, killing their reporter, Tariq Ayoub.

Major Gen. Stanley McChrystal responded to inquiries about the deaths by saying, ”We are at war.” ”Our forces came under fire, they exercised their inherent right of self defense.” Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said, ”Baghdad is not a safe place â¤| You should not be there.”

Al-Jazeera accused the United States of intentionally targeting their offices and killing their reporter because the American military doesn’t want the American people to see the extent of their own crimes in killing Iraqi civilians. Al-Jazeera is one of the few network news stations broadcasting images of apparent and alleged American war crimes.

Most American news networks have refrained from reporting news that is too critical of the war effort, fearing they will loose ratings or even be shut down by an angry pro-War American public.

I find it amazing that you use a tank to respond to a sniper at a building you know houses journalists. And the excuse that “We are at war” doesn’t seem to hold water when non-Arab civilians are killed, such as in Israel.

I can only imagine what would happen to any American official who dared respond to news about a killing of Israeli civilians with the arrogant, insensitive response, “We are at war.” The Israeli-controlled American media would have their heads and special laws would be passed by the US Congress to punish the offender.

But that wasn’t the worst news that Brooks, McChrystal and Clarke had to dodge, and I wonder if Brooks will be taking a cue from al-Sahhaf, whose denials of the obvious are both excessive in their creativity as they are outrageous in their ignorance.

While digging through the rubble of the homes that the American-led forces bombed, the bodies of a child, a woman and an old man were found.

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that the US had been given information that senior Iraqi leaders were at the homes in Baghdad. He said a B-1 bomber flying 20,000 feet in the sky dropped four one ton “bunker bombs” on the two homes in the upscale Baghdad Mansour neighborhood.

The target, of course, was Saddam Hussein and his two sons, Uday and Cusay, al certainly deserving of being charged with criminal behaviour and war crimes. When you kill a murderer without applying the Rule of International Law, do you not become a murderer yourself?

But what happens when you also kill innocent civilians while trying to murder someone in this illegal manner? Assassination is illegal under normal circumstances and finds no legitimacy during this conflict which is an illegal and internationally unsanctioned military assault.

Reports today said that among the rubble of the building bombed by the B-1 bomber were the three civilians. The woman’s head was blown clean off, something that you definitely won’t see on American-controlled media.

So far, American bombers have flown 30,000 missions over Iraq, not counting helicopters, dropping 20,000 tons of missiles and bombs.

Leadership targets of many kinds, including government ministries and command and control centers, have been hit numerous times throughout the campaign, actions denounced as criminal under international law.

While President Bush is trying to convince the Arab World that this war is about liberation, most Arabs see it for what it really is: a grab for economic resources, an attempt to avenge Bush’s father’s honor by killing Saddam Hussein, and suicide bombing minus the suicide.

RAY HANANIA is an award-winning syndicated columnist and Palestinian American author based in Chicago. His columns are archived at www.hanania.com.


More articles by:

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas