Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The Phony British Abuse Scandal
The Rejectionist bloggers and Arabic press are all exorcised now about how horrible it was that the British soldiers roughed up a teenage hooligan in Baghdad. Most manage to blame the U.S. for it, as was expected.
Just as with the Cartoon Controversy (here here here) these are typically people who have little or nothing to say about the beheadings and murder-suicide bombs committed by their "freedom fighters" nor the standard operating procedures of justice among every government in the region.
What Really Happened At the "Demonstration"
Times Online reporter Stephen Farrell was there and he gives his account of what happened over two years ago in January 2004:
(h/t commenter "Mark")
"The previous day six Iraqis had been shot dead by Iraqi police and British troops guarding Amara’s municipal headquarters, universally known as the Pink Palace.
"We were trying to investigate grievances about nepotism in a British job-creation scheme under which 2,500 locals had been hired as municipal labourers, most from the same powerful tribe. But we had barely uttered the word ‘sahafiin’ (journalists) before the mood turned ugly. The crowd formed a menacing ring, sealing us in. As those nearest Teri began groping her through her abaya others arrived from further afield, picking up bricks on the run like practised outfielders and hurling them at us.
"Half a dozen rioters had grabbed Teri and an octopus of hostile arms was pulling her into the crowd. She grabbed my wrist. I tried to pull her back, but she was vanishing into the human quicksand. We had no choice but throw ourselves at her assailants, one of whom was trying to smash her skull with a rock. Just when we thought ourselves clear, a donkey cart blocked our escape.
"The riot was not a threat to the entire town. It was a localised protest by a rent-a-mob whose kernel was a cluster of perhaps 100 youths. The rest of Amarah remained calm."
So there ya go.
BaghdadTreasure and 24STL Freak Out (again)
The biggest disappointment in the coverage of this event was 24 Steps To Liberty and Baghdad Treasure's commentary on it. But their lack of fact-based analysis and their replete unfounded ranting (which, when they they are put to it, they won't even defend) ever since the December election has been the biggest disappointment for me since the whole Bloghdad phenomena began.
24STL gives a maudlin description of the event [high-pitched weepy voice] "using their fists and batons, beating the Iraqis on every part of their leettle bodies". He explains that this occurred following a "demonstration" that (oh by the way) included some rock throwing. Not only does he manage to rope the Americans into this, he also implies that US forces are culpable in the torture shack incidents in which the Americans rescued Sunni suspected insurgents. And then suggests the whole scandal was an American manipulation. No angle left out, except that however you want to view it, whether you think the Iraqi government was right or wrong, the American "occupation" is on the wrong side of it. Oh, yeah. And guess what? The British have established a "colony" in Basra. That's right...a colony.
BaghdadTreasure doesn't even bother to pervert the truth. He just makes it up. This is the fun-house representation that he gives to a rock throwing mob:
Iraqi teenagers decided to practice their right, which was promised by the “liberators.” “Democracy” allows them to demand better life and better services. Unarmed, but with their frustrated words, and desperate, but of the forth coming “democratic country,” they marched to the British military base in Basra in southern Iraq.
Yeah, right. I don't remember when Iraqis were promised the right to form mobs and attack Coalition soldiers. Nor would I characterize a violent rock throwing mob as "unarmed". Perhaps things are different in his neighborhood. He explains that the incident was provoked when the juvenile delinquents (he calls them "demonstrators") "threw rocks at the walls of the base, not expecting what to be next." At the wall???
Neither of them get around to mentioning that this happened two years ago. If you read their accounts it happened yesterday.
Jeffrey had choice words for BaghdadTreasure a few weeks ago. Another commenter, suggested he was a man lacking in honor. Others have had similar remarks for 24STL. I vociferously defended them. But I was wrong, and the others were right. I realize that there are plenty of other bloggers who print the same sort of nonsense with zero regard for facts, context, or truth. There are lots of Iraqi bloggers who post rampant rumor with the same jingoistic, sectarian, paranoid, and racist mindset as these two have for the last two and a half months. But 24STL and BaghdadTreasure are self-reputed journalists working for an American newspaper. If American media outlets are depending on poor-quality stringers like these guys, I can see why we get the coverage we do.
Since the beatings of this violent mob of rock-throwing hooligans are ultimately the fault of The Great Satan, the United States, I thought I would provide this news report of a rock-throwing devil in 1682 New Hampshire. It is about as timely as the other story.
If you are looking for the information on Col McMasters and the Mayor of Tal Afar, I've move it to here:
- Victory At Tal Afar - September 2005
- Victory At Tal Afar - January 27th, 2006
- Victory At Tal Afar - The Mayor of Tal Afar