By Michael Schwartz
November 18, 2008
I recently received a set of questions from Le Monde Diplomatique reporter Kim Bredesen about the 2007 Project Censored story about 1,000,000 Iraqi deaths due to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The questions and answers are, I think, useful in framing both the untold story of the slaughter in Iraq and the failure of the U.S. media to report on its extent or on U.S. culpability for the deaths of 4% of the Iraqi population.
Bredeson: I observed recently that your story on Iraqi deaths caused by US occupation became story no. 1 in this year’s listing by Project Censored. I wondered if I could ask you a few questions on e-mail regarding this issue?
Kim Bredesen, Le Monde diplomatiqe (Norway)
These are my questions.
1.Do you expect that the new administration under Barack Obama will acknowledge the validity of the statistics concerning Iraqi deaths caused by the US occupation force?
It is always difficult to predict the political future, but even if the Obama administration pursues a very different policy in Iraq and the Middle East, I doubt it will acknowledge the amount of violence caused by the war during its first six years. Historically, the U.S. government has a poor record of acknowledging its responsibility for death and/or destruction of other peoples, beginning with the genocide against Native Americans (never officially acknowledged), continuing through two hundred years of the slave trade and slavery (there has actually been a limp official apology), and culminating in the ongoing refusal to acknowledge one to three million deaths in Vietnam caused by the U.S. attempt to conquer that country.
2.You mention in your update to Censored 2009 that there is a media blackout about the dramatic statistics in US mass media. Do you think this will change?
I think that the U.S. mainstream media has a poor record of acknowledging the many instances in which it has (collectively) failed to maintain its constitutionally mandated independence from government policy, and instead has ignored or written false reports supporting government malfeasance and tyranny. It was refreshing that the New York Times and Washington Post acknowledged their failure to report the contrary evidence to the US government claims about WMDs in Iraq, but this is a rare moment that has not led to more independent reporting on other U.S. government action in the Middle East. I think that we can expect the U.S. mainstream media to continue to compromise its journalistic integrity in reporting on Iraq, and this will mean failing to report its own suppression of the Lancet studies and continuing to misreport the U.S. role in the Iraq war. This expectation is, of course, speculation, but the best evidence for this speculation is the fact that the major media have been withdrawing their personnel from Iraq, instead of taking advantage of more favorable security conditions to send reporters to locations that were previously inaccessible and therefore more thoroughly report the impact of the war on Iraqi life.
h/t: Frank Kromkowski
Inch by Inch, Triiibe in DC
July 28, 2008
On January 27, 2007, Triiibe and friends joined a half million people in Washington, DC to protest the war in Iraq. Performance artists Alicia, Kelly and Sara Casilio (identical triplets) and photographer Cary Wolinsky formed the collaborative Triiibe to create political and social commentary art.
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