Saturday, November 13, 2004

Nabil's article on Margaret Hassan; Fallujah

Nabil's Margaret Hassan op-ed got posted on Richmond's

Indymedia site (thanks James):

2) An Iraqi Blog:
Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where
hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Saturday, November 13, 2004


People in Falloojeh are being murdered. The stories
coming back are horrifying. People being shot in cold
blood in the streets and being buried under tons of
concrete and iron... where is the world? Bury Arafat
and hurry up and pay attention to what's happening in

They say the people have nothing to eat. No produce is
going into the city and the water has been cut off for
days and days. Do you know what it's like to have no
clean water??? People are drinking contaminated water
and coming down with diarrhoea and other diseases.
There are corpses in the street because no one can
risk leaving their home to bury people. Families are
burying children and parents in the gardens of their

Furthermore, where is Sistani? Why isn't he saying
anything about the situation? When the South was being
attacked, Sunni clerics everywhere decried the
attacks. Where is Sistani now, when people are looking
to him for some reaction? The silence is deafening.

We're not leaving the house lately. There was a total
of 8 hours of electricity today and we've been using
the generator sparingly because there is a mysterious
fuel shortage... several explosions were heard in
different places.

Things are deteriorating swiftly.

More on Falloojeh crisis here:

Aid agencies say Falluja "big disaster"...

Eyewitness: Smoke and Corpses...

Iraqis will never forgive this - never. It's
outrageous - it's genocide and America, with the help
and support of Allawi, is responsible. May whoever
contributes to this see the sorrow, terror and misery
of the people suffering in Falloojeh.

3) True to guerrilla form, the insurgents faded away

Fallujah’s empty promise
By Michael Moran


Nov. 12, 2004

As battles go, Fallujah has been a big disappointment
to the U.S. military, which had wanted to draw the
Iraqi insurgents into a cataclysmic mistake: a “fair”
fight. Not that any officer relished the prospect of a
Stalingrad- or Hue-like street-to-street,
house-to-house blood-letting. But the alternative has
even less to recommend it: a continuing series of
roadside bombings and mortar and grenade ambushes that
bleed American forces and frustrate efforts to secure
Iraq ahead of January’s elections.

Unfortunately, from a military standpoint, the latter,
less attractive option is the reality, and the choice
was never the U.S. military’s to make. Iraq’s
insurgents, with weeks to react as U.S. forces
gathered and postured about what was about to happen
in Fallujah, decided against turning it into al-Alamo.
They saw the folly of taking on the Americans on their
own terms, and they did what intelligent, determined
guerrilla movements have always done in the face of
overwhelming force: They faded away and lived to fight
and kill and maim another day.

For those who accepted the notion, propagated by the
Pentagon in the week leading up to the attack, that
many thousands of Iraqi insurgents had dug in to
defend their vital base in Fallujah, news that only
light resistance greeted the U.S. and Iraqi government
forces may be perplexing.

“In military terms, Fallujah is not going to be much
of a plus at all,” says Bernard Trainor, a retired
three-star Marine Corps general. “The downside is that
we’ve knocked the hell out of this city, and the only
insurgents we really got were the nut-cases and
zealots the smart ones left behind — the guys who
really want to die for Allah.”

Fire with fire
And Godspeed to them, you might well say. But if all
of this sounds anticlimactic and slightly dismal,
don’t despair. For the attack on Fallujah, while not
decisive militarily, could mark a political turning
point in Iraq. For the first time since the interim
Iraqi government of Ayad Allawi took power, the
interim Iraqi leader showed that he was willing to
deal with the insurgents on their own terms: with raw
power and violence.

“Fallujah became symbolic on both sides that things
were out of control over there,” says Trainor. “In the
bigger picture, we [Americans] are incidental over
there in that this is a struggle between Iraqis over
what Iraq will be when we leave. The solution is not
going to be a military one, it has to be some kind of
political deal that is uniquely Arab. But that deal
also has to be backed up with power and force, and
Fallujah being taken down now demonstrates to all
concerned that Allawi will not shrink from that course
of action.”

Seizing the initiative
The military is fond of old saws, and one that has
come back into style this year is this one: “In
guerrilla war, if you’re not winning, you’re losing.”
>From that standpoint, some officers are relieved to
see the U.S.-backed Iraqi government attempting to
seize the initiative.

Prior to the assault on Fallujah, many officers felt
that “losing by not winning” fairly well summed up the
situation in Iraq. The “metrics” soldiers like to
provide their political bosses to attest to progress
on the ground were nowhere to be found, or at least
not in a form that would paint a positive picture.
U.S. casualties continue at a pace that is making U.S.
commanders uneasy: about two per day (61 in October).

Reconstruction aid has been held up by security
problems and bureaucracy, and much of it has been
re-channeled into a desperate effort to speed up the
training of Iraq’s new army and paramilitary forces
ahead of the election. Assassinations of Iraqi
officials and the wholesale slaughter of police
recruits and trainees appeared to be keeping many
Iraqis on the fence. And the day-to-day drumbeat of
bombings and ambushes appeared to give the insurgents
the initiative.

Whether success in Fallujah — even a limited success
like turning it into a ghost town — will be enough to
bring the “silent majority” in Iraq off the fences is
a major question. Military analysts suggest that
similar pushes into other Sunni cities — Ramadi,
Samarra and Hit — as well as the much larger,
ethnically mixed city of Mosul may also be necessary.
In the meanwhile, there is a real danger that the
insurgents who slipped out of Fallujah ahead of the
attack may slip right back again when things calm

Betting on voting
Another question is which side of the fence that
silent majority will come down on when they do decide
to jump in.

“The big question is the elections — they are the
key,” says David Phillips, who served through most of
the first term of this Bush administration as a senior
adviser on Iraq matters before stepping down in
September. “Can you make elections go forward in
Fallujah and elsewhere by rolling over the city? I
don’t think so. You can’t bring people to the polls at

For Allawi, though, the die has been cast. His own
fate is now inexorably tied to the decision to attack
in Fallujah, as demonstrated with tragic clarity by
the kidnapping and threat to behead several members of
his family this week. His government’s feelers over
the past few weeks toward an accommodation with the
insurgents were rebuffed by their representatives and
in any case would have been vetoed by the United
States. Allawi’s strategy is the iron fist, and now he
has to use it or lose it.

Defusing the disenfranchisement bomb
For Iraqis, hope now lies more than ever in the
ability of the coming elections to empower leaders who
can somehow cut the kind of deal that hives away the
Iraqi nationalists from the insurgent camp. That would
leave the anti-American zealots and “foreign fighters”
isolated and exposed.

That’s why it is so important that the United States
do everything possible between now and then to ensure
that voting takes place in as many parts of the Sunni
Triangle as possible. For if the vote brings to the
polls only the Kurds and Iraq’s largest ethnic group,
the Shiites, it could leave Sunnis completely
disenfranchised, too. That is a prescription for many
more years of American troops in harm’s way. After
all, Kurd or Shiite, Sunni or American, when you’ve
got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

As a battle, Fallujah has been a disappointment to the
U.S. military, who wanted to draw the rebels into a
cataclysmic mistake: a fair fight. Unfortunately,
that’s not likely any time soon, and that will
severely blunt the value of the American victory.

Michael Moran's Brave New World column, on hiatus
since late September, resumes today and once again
will appear weekly on

© 2004 MSNBC Interactive

4) Iraq: the unthinkable becomes normal:

Mainstream media speak as if Fallujah were populated
only by foreign "insurgents". In fact, women and
children are being slaughtered in our name.

John Pilger

11/11/04 "New Statesman" -- Edward S Herman's landmark
essay, "The Banality of Evil", has never seemed more
apposite. "Doing terrible things in an organised and
systematic way rests on 'normalisation'," wrote
Herman. "There is usually a division of labour in
doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the
direct brutalising and killing done by one set of
individuals . . . others working on improving
technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning
and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that
penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the
function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to
normalise the unthinkable for the general public."

On Radio 4's Today (6 November), a BBC reporter in
Baghdad referred to the coming attack on the city of
Fallujah as "dangerous" and "very dangerous" for the
Americans. When asked about civilians, he said,
reassuringly, that the US marines were "going about
with a Tannoy" telling people to get out. He omitted
to say that tens of thousands of people would be left
in the city. He mentioned in passing the "most intense
bombing" of the city with no suggestion of what that
meant for people beneath the bombs.

As for the defenders, those Iraqis who resist in a
city that heroically defied Saddam Hussein; they were
merely "insurgents holed up in the city", as if they
were an alien body, a lesser form of life to be
"flushed out" (the Guardian): a suitable quarry for
"rat-catchers", which is the term another BBC reporter
told us the Black Watch use. According to a senior
British officer, the Americans view Iraqis as
Untermenschen, a term that Hitler used in Mein Kampf
to describe Jews, Romanies and Slavs as sub-humans.
This is how the Nazi army laid siege to Russian
cities, slaughtering combatants and non-combatants

Normalising colonial crimes like the attack on
Fallujah requires such racism, linking our imagination
to "the other". The thrust of the reporting is that
the "insurgents" are led by sinister foreigners of the
kind that behead people: for example, by Musab
al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian said to be al-Qaeda's "top
operative" in Iraq. This is what the Americans say; it
is also Blair's latest lie to parliament. Count the
times it is parroted at a camera, at us. No irony is
noted that the foreigners in Iraq are overwhelmingly
American and, by all indications, loathed. These
indications come from apparently credible polling
organisations, one of which estimates that of 2,700
attacks every month by the resistance, six can be
credited to the infamous al-Zarqawi.

In a letter sent on 14 October to Kofi Annan, the
Fallujah Shura Council, which administers the city,
said: "In Fallujah, [the Americans] have created a new
vague target: al-Zarqawi. Almost a year has elapsed
since they created this new pretext and whenever they
destroy houses, mosques, restaurants, and kill
children and women, they said: 'We have launched a
successful operation against al-Zarqawi.' The people
of Fallujah assure you that this person, if he exists,
is not in Fallujah . . . and we have no links to any
groups supporting such inhuman behaviour. We appeal to
you to urge the UN [to prevent] the new massacre which
the Americans and the puppet government are planning
to start soon in Fallujah, as well as many parts of
the country."

Not a word of this was reported in the mainstream
media in Britain and America.

"What does it take to shock them out of their baffling
silence?" asked the playwright Ronan Bennett in April
after the US marines, in an act of collective
vengeance for the killing of four American
mercenaries, killed more than 600 people in Fallujah,
a figure that was never denied. Then, as now, they
used the ferocious firepower of AC-130 gunships and
F-16 fighter-bombers and 500lb bombs against slums.
They incinerate children; their snipers boast of
killing anyone, as snipers did in Sarajevo.

Bennett was referring to the legion of silent Labour
backbenchers, with honourable exceptions, and
lobotomised junior ministers (remember Chris Mullin?).
He might have added those journalists who strain every
sinew to protect "our" side, who normalise the
unthinkable by not even gesturing at the demonstrable
immorality and criminality. Of course, to be shocked
by what "we" do is dangerous, because this can lead to
a wider understanding of why "we" are there in the
first place and of the grief "we" bring not only to
Iraq, but to so many parts of the world: that the
terrorism of al-Qaeda is puny by comparison with ours.

There is nothing illicit about this cover-up; it
happens in daylight. The most striking recent example
followed the announcement, on 29 October, by the
prestigious scientific journal, the Lancet, of a study
estimating that 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of
the Anglo-American invasion. Eighty-four per cent of
the deaths were caused by the actions of the Americans
and the British, and 95 per cent of these were killed
by air attacks and artillery fire, most of whom were
women and children.

The editors of the excellent MediaLens observed the
rush - no, stampede - to smother this shocking news
with "scepticism" and silence. They reported that, by
2 November, the Lancet report had been ignored by the
Observer, the Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the
Financial Times, the Star, the Sun and many others.
The BBC framed the report in terms of the government's
"doubts" and Channel 4 News delivered a hatchet job,
based on a Downing Street briefing. With one
exception, none of the scientists who compiled this
rigorously peer-reviewed report was asked to
substantiate their work until ten days later when the
pro-war Observer published an interview with the
editor of the Lancet, slanted so that it appeared he
was "answering his critics". David Edwards, a
MediaLens editor, asked the researchers to respond to
the media criticism; their meticulous demolition can
be viewed on the [] alert for
2 November. None of this was published in the
mainstream. Thus, the unthinkable that "we" had
engaged in such a slaughter was suppressed -
normalised. It is reminiscent of the suppression of
the death of more than a million Iraqis, including
half a million infants under five, as a result of the
Anglo-American-driven embargo.

In contrast, there is no media questioning of the
methodology of the Iraqi Special Tribune, which has
announced that mass graves contain 300,000 victims of
Saddam Hussein. The Special Tribune, a product of the
quisling regime in Baghdad, is run by the Americans;
respected scientists want nothing to do with it. There
is no questioning of what the BBC calls "Iraq's first
democratic elections". There is no reporting of how
the Americans have assumed control over the electoral
process with two decrees passed in June that allow an
"electoral commission" in effect to eliminate parties
Washington does not like. Time magazine reports that
the CIA is buying its preferred candidates, which is
how the agency has fixed elections over the world.
When or if the elections take place, we will be doused
in cliches about the nobility of voting, as America's
puppets are "democratically" chosen.

The model for this was the "coverage" of the American
presidential election, a blizzard of platitudes
normalising the unthinkable: that what happened on 2
November was not democracy in action. With one
exception, no one in the flock of pundits flown from
London described the circus of Bush and Kerry as the
contrivance of fewer than 1 per cent of the
population, the ultra-rich and powerful who control
and manage a permanent war economy. That the losers
were not only the Democrats, but the vast majority of
Americans, regardless of whom they voted for, was

No one reported that John Kerry, by contrasting the
"war on terror" with Bush's disastrous attack on Iraq,
merely exploited public distrust of the invasion to
build support for American dominance throughout the
world. "I'm not talking about leaving [Iraq]," said
Kerry. "I'm talking about winning!" In this way, both
he and Bush shifted the agenda even further to the
right, so that millions of anti-war Democrats might be
persuaded that the US has "the responsibility to
finish the job" lest there be "chaos". The issue in
the presidential campaign was neither Bush nor Kerry,
but a war economy aimed at conquest abroad and
economic division at home. The silence on this was
comprehensive, both in America and here.


For Immediate Release:
Friday, November 12, 2004

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
cell 202-487-0693,
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Greens warn that the Fallujah
offensive, with heavy civilian casualties and
destruction of infrastructure, has completed the
transformation of the Iraq invasion into the
Vietnam War.

"The insistence that Iraq is better off without
Saddam Hussein while killing between 10,000 and
100,000 Iraqi civilians has turned President
Bush's rationale for the invasion into a
grotesque joke," said Tony Gronowicz, a member of
the International Committee of the Green Party of
the United States and author.

Greens said that heavy civilian casualties in
Fallujah will turn more Iraqis against the U.S.,
especially in other Sunni cities, leading to a
longer occupation and destroying hopes for
democracy in Iraq.

"Even if Operation Phantom Fury succeeds in
suppressing the insurgency in Fallujah, the
result may be more sympathy for the Iraqi
resistance throughout Iraq, which can hardly be
called a victory," said Justine McCabe,
Connecticut Green and member of the International

Greens noted the silence of Sen. John Kerry and
other Democrats on the Fallujah operation. The
Green Party has strongly opposed the invasion of
Iraq, demanded an immediate end to the
occupation, and called for support for U.S.
troops by removing them from harm's way and
returning them home.

Greens also noted that:

-- Estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths range from
10,000 (the British Foreign Secretary) to 14,000
to 100,000 (The

-- The U.S. occupation forces have prohibited
Iraqi men between ages 14 and 60 from fleeing the
city, a policy in violation of international law.

-- The U.S. attack has destroyed one emergency
hospital; U.S. military forces now occupy the
city's only remaining hospital, blocking
civilians from receiving medical attention.
Bombs have been dropped on civilian neighborhoods
and mosques targeted and destroyed.

-- The attitude of invasion apologists suggests a
dangerous mindset similar to "In order to save
the village, we had to destroy it" in Vietnam.
"Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage,
reduced to shards, the price will be worth it" --
former military officer and neo-con ideologue
Ralph Peters, The New York Post, November 4, 2004

--A major Sunni Muslim political party, the Iraqi
Islamic Party, quit the interim Iraqi government
and revoked its sole cabinet minister to protest
the attack on Fallujah. Party head Mohsen
Abdel-Hamid explained, "We are protesting the
attack on Fallujah and the injustice that is
inflicted on the innocent people of the city."

-- In having announced the Fallujah attack well
in advance of the operation itself, the Bush
Administration gave insurgents time to prepare
sufficient defense to place U.S. military
personnel at great risk; the publicity for
Operation Phantom Fury began before the attack --
especially before Election Day -- suggests that
one of the operation's chief purposes was
homeland political propaganda.

-- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld continues to depict
insurgents as extremists loyal to Saddam Hussein,
when in fact the Iraq resistance ranges from
Islamic groups that opposed the ousted dictator
to Iraqi civilians who lost their businesses and
jobs under the U.S. occupation after
administrator Paul Bremer opened up Iraqi
businesses and resources to foreign corporate

"There's no doubt that decapitation of hostages
by insurgents is atrocious, but the Iraqi people
understandably don't see the mass killing of
civilians by U.S. bombs as any less barbaric,"
said Peter LaVenia, chair of the Albany County,
New York, Green Party and president of the Green

The Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

2004 Green candidates and election results

6) Naomi Klein Article:,2763,1350316,00.html

To see this story with its related links on the
Guardian Unlimited
site, go to

Die, then vote. This is Falluja
Iraqi elections were postponed to save Bush. That led
to today's
Naomi Klein
Saturday November 13 2004
The Guardian

The hip-hop mogul P Diddy announced at the weekend
that his "Vote or Die" campaign will live on. The
voter registration drive during the US presidential
elections was, he said, merely "phase one, step one
for us to get people engaged".

Fantastic. I have a suggestion for phase two: P Diddy,
Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the
self-described "coalition of the willing" should take
their chartered jet and fly to Falluja, where their
efforts are desperately needed. But first they are
going to need to flip the slogan from "Vote or Die!"
to "Die, then Vote!"

Because that is what is happening there. Escape routes
have been sealed off, homes are being demolished, and
an emergency health clinic has been razed - all in the
name of preparing the city for January elections. In a
letter to United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan,
the US-appointed Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi
explained that the all-out
attack was required "to safeguard lives, elections and
democracy in Iraq."

With all the millions spent on "democracy-building"
and "civil society" in Iraq, it has come to this: if
you can survive attack by the world's only superpower,
you get to cast a ballot. Fallujans are going to vote,
goddammit, even if they all have to die first.

And make no mistake: it is Fallujans who are under the
gun. "The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He
lives in Falluja," marine Lt Col Gareth Brandl told
the BBC. Well, at least he admitted that some of the
fighters actually live in Falluja, unlike Donald
Rumsfeld, who would have us believe that they are all
from Syria and Jordan. And since US army vehicles are
blaring recordings forbidding all men between the ages
of 15 and 50 from leaving the city, it would suggest
that there are at least a few Iraqis among what CNN
now obediently describes as the
"anti-Iraqi forces".

Elections in Iraq were never going to be peaceful, but
they did not need to be an all-out war on voters
either. Mr Allawi's Rocket the Vote campaign is the
direct result of a disastrous decision made one year
ago. On November 11 2003, Paul Bremer, then chief US
envoy to Iraq, flew to Washington to meet George Bush.
The two men were concerned that if they kept their
promise to hold elections in Iraq within the coming
months, the country would fall into the hands of
insufficiently pro-American forces.

That would defeat the purpose of the invasion, and it
would threaten President Bush's re-election chances.
At that meeting, a revised plan was hatched: elections
would be delayed for more than a year, and in the
meantime, Iraq's first "sovereign" government would be
hand-picked by Washington. The plan would allow Mr
Bush to claim progress on the campaign
trail, while keeping Iraq safely under US control.

In the US, Mr Bush's claim that "freedom is on the
march" served its purpose, but in Iraq, the plan led
directly to the carnage we see today.

Mr Bush likes to paint the forces opposed to the US
presence in Iraq as enemies of democracy. In fact,
much of the uprising can be traced directly to
decisions made in Washington to stifle, repress,
delay, manipulate and otherwise thwart the democratic
aspirations of the Iraqi people.

Yes, democracy has genuine opponents in Iraq, but
before George Bush and Paul Bremer decided to break
their central promise to hand over power to an elected
Iraqi government, these forces were isolated and
contained. That changed when Mr Bremer returned to
Baghdad and tried to convince Iraqis that they weren't
yet ready for democracy.

Mr Bremer argued that the country was too insecure to
hold elections, and besides, there were no voter
rolls. Few were convinced. In January 2004, 100,000
Iraqis peacefully took to the streets of Baghdad, and
30,000 more did so in Basra. Their chant was "Yes, yes
elections. No, no selections." At the time, many
argued that Iraq was safe enough to have elections and
pointed out that the lists from the Saddam-era
oil-for-food programme could serve as voter rolls. But
Mr Bremer wouldn't budge and the UN - scandalously and
fatefully - backed him up.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Hussain
al-Shahristani, chairman of the standing committee of
the Iraqi National Academy of Science (who was
imprisoned under Saddam Hussein for 10 years),
accurately predicted what would happen next.
"Elections will be held in Iraq, sooner or
later," he wrote. "The sooner they are held, and a
truly democratic Iraq is established, the fewer Iraqi
and American lives will be lost."

Ten months and thousands of lost Iraqi and American
lives later, elections are scheduled to take place
with part of the country in the grip of yet another
invasion and much of the rest of it under martial law.
As for the voter rolls, the Allawi government is
planning to use the oil-for-food lists, just as was
suggested and dismissed a year ago.

So it turns out that all of the excuses were lies: if
elections can be held now, they most certainly could
have been held a year ago, when the country was vastly
calmer. But that would have denied Washington the
chance to install a puppet regime in Iraq, and
possibly would have prevented George Bush from winning
a second term.

Is it any wonder that Iraqis are sceptical of the
version of democracy being delivered to them by US
troops, or that elections have come to be seen not as
tools of liberation but as weapons of war?

First, Iraq's promised elections were sacrificed in
the interest of George Bush's re-election hopes; next,
the siege of Falluja itself was crassly shackled to
these same interests. The fighter planes didn't even
wait an hour after George Bush finished his acceptance
speech to begin the air attack on Falluja. The city
was bombed at least six times
through the next day and night. With voting safely
over in the US, Falluja could be destroyed in the name
of its own upcoming elections.

In another demonstration of their commitment to
freedom, the first goal of the US soldiers in Falluja
was to ambush the city's main hospital. Why?
Apparently because it was the source of the "rumours"
about high civilian casualties the last time US troops
laid siege to Falluja, sparking outrage in Iraq and
across the Arab world. "It's a centre of
propaganda," an unnamed senior American officer told
the New York Times. Without doctors to count the dead,
the outrage would presumably be muted - except that,
of course, the attacks on hospitals have sparked their
own outrage, further jeopardising the legitimacy of
the upcoming elections.

According to the New York Times, the Falluja general
hospital was easy to capture, since the doctors and
patients put up no resistance. There was, however, one
injury: "An Iraqi soldier who accidentally discharged
his Kalashnikov rifle, injuring his lower leg."

I think that means he shot himself in the foot. He's
not the only one.

· Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

7) Washington DC, November 12, 2004—The American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) expresses deep
concerned by the alarming hostility expressed by media
commentators towards the Palestinian people in the
wake of the death of Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat.

These comments, with exceptions, contain a surprising
array of dehumanizing and overtly racist comments
against the Palestinian people. Comments such as the
ones listed below can only be regarded as an
incitement to ethnic hatred of the Palestinians.
Surely the denigration of an ethnic group, a people
who have been living under an ongoing 37-year Israeli
military occupation, constitutes a violation of any
system of journalistic standards.

For good reason US media commentators have expressed
deep concern at the negative effects of hateful
rhetoric directed against the United States in some
elements of the Arab press. But we must also be
keenly aware of the damaging and irrational rhetoric
against Arabs, Islam, and in particular Palestinians
expressed by commentators in the US media.

We should be seeking and working towards a just and
lasting peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians
instead of engaging in hateful rhetoric which
dehumanizes a people and affects perception of
television viewers. We call on all members of the
media to be objective in their reporting and


An outrageous and repeat offender of what can only be
described as hate speech, is "Imus in the Morning,"
shown weekends on MSNBC. During today's funeral
proceedings in Ramallah, the show host Don Imus,
described Arafat as "stinky," a "rat," with "beady
eyes." He also added statements claiming that "all
Palestinians look like him." Additionally, one guest
described the crowds of Palestinians attending the
funeral as "animals" and joked about their hygiene.
"They’re dropping soap from the helicopters," the
guest laughed.

Also on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, host of "Scarborough
Country," began his program by declaring "Some are
calling Yasser Arafat's passing a tragedy. The 'Real
Deal?' He's actually the father of modern terrorism.
Good riddance." He later added, "This was, after all,
the man who invented modern terrorism in the Middle
East and by extension was the godfather of September
11." Among the guests on the show was the Palestinian
Authority Representative to the United States Hasan
Abdul Rahman, who while attempting to express his
view, was interrupted by shouts of "where’s the
money?" by Scarborough in
reference to international aid.

Such outwardly one-sided comments were also prevalent
in many other news channels during coverage of the
funeral. "Plans call currently for Yasser Arafat to
be buried in his compound in Ramallah, which will
eventually be turned into some kind of shrine. Maybe
they'll put a sign out front for the Palestinian
people, that read 'here lies the body of the thief who
robbed you blind," said Jack Cafferty on CNN's
"American Morning." It should be noted that Jack
Cafferty has a history of making racist comments
directed not only at Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans,
but also Asians.

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