Media Keeps Iraq Tyranny on Down Low

Iraq has been perhaps the least covered country in the Middle East throughout the Arab Spring. Popular protests and demonstrations there have been discreet, but only relative to Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, etc. This comparative quiet is no excuse for the near white-wash in coverage.

We can speculate as to why massive popular protests in Iraq have not been sustained. The risk assessment facing Iraqis wanting to protest for freedom and democracy is decidedly more threatening given the fact that the tyranny they are living under is not merely a client state of the U.S., being bolstered with loads of aid. It is a country still under occupation from the world’s most dominant and militaristic superpower, with some 50,000 troops and tens of thousands more contractors. The consequences protestors have faced elsewhere could be vastly more calamitous in Iraq.

Hence the very reason Iraq should be constantly in the headlines. The media are having a tough enough time keeping U.S. support for Arab dictatorships on the down low. With the suppression of Iraqi democracy on the front pages, it’d be too difficult to avoid making U.S. imperialism a primary inquiry in the news on the Arab Spring. But suppressing Iraqi democracy is precisely what Operation Iraqi Freedom has brought. Here’s Ted Galen Carpenter at The National Interest:

The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is increasingly corrupt and autocratic. Aside from periodic elections with competing parties, the new Iraq is beginning to resemble the old Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Maliki’s bureaucrats routinely harass both foreign and domestic media outlets that dare to expose his administration’s abuses.

Disturbing evidence of such repression has been building for at least the past two years, but matters escalated dramatically in February with the regime’s shocking brutality. As with many other countries in the Middle East, demonstrations broke out in Iraq demanding, among other things, an end to the Maliki government’s rampant corruption. Those demonstrations culminated with a “Day of Rage.” Although the demonstrations even on that day were mostly peaceful, security forces killed at least twenty-nine participants.

They also rounded up dozens of journalists, writers, photographers, and intellectuals who had been involved in organizing the rallies. The Aldiyar Television station, which had telecast footage of the demonstrations, reported that security forces arrested seven employees, including a director and an anchorman, and closed the studio.

This is what the war, cripplingly expensive in both blood and treasure, has resulted in for the people of Iraq. Indoctrinated talking heads still speak of it bringing democracy. The more honest, albeit nauseatingly obedient, simply say nothing. And so we have a blind spot in reporting on Iraq, where U.S. tyranny is clearest.

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  • Clore

    Readers should check out the Iraq Freedom Congress:
    http://www.ifcongress.com/English/index.htm

  • We should be keenly aware that america's forefathers came form the bowels of george 1 jails in britain so it is no surprise they act the way they do,and has been since its inception.The british a country of 40 million in the days of its empire murdered,raped, tortured three times its population,and spread diseases throught its "empire"

  • steve h.

    Should anyone be surprised at this development? The Iraq War was waged under false pretenses, with the real motive being regime change.

    As with all of its satellites, the empire doesn't much care if the local thug is repressive, only that he does America's bidding. Saddam Hussein was once Uncle Sam's ally, only to become the "new Hitler." Despite a decade of sanctions resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, Saddam survived, so they resorted to invasion and occupation.

    As with all interventions, the Iraqi debacle has unintended consequences. It should disturb us all that 4,500 American soldiers are dead and a trillion dollars have been squandered. What do we have to show for it? We've ruined a country, radicalized the Muslim world, and helped to install a government aligned with the Iranians that wantonly kills its own people. Mission accomplished!

  • Orville H. Larson

    Prime Minister Maliki's a corrupt, brutual sonofabitch. Does the U.S. Government care? Not at all. The U.S. Government doesn't give a rat's ass for "freedom" in the Middle East. It wants compliant satraps like Maliki.

  • I think it's not right to land other country and began there war. They take too much on themselves.

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  • The problem with the Democrats' cynical logic is that allowing Bush to prolong the war in Iraq increases the chances that Cheney, Israel, and the neoconservatives can contrive a war with Iran.Çek kanunu

  • speak of it bringing democracy. The more honest, albeit nauseatingly obedient, simply say nothing. And so we have a blind spot in reporting on Iraq, where U.S. tyranny is clearest.

  • ook me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be so helpful to me and I'm sure to all the commenters here!

  • As with all interventions, the Iraqi debacle has unintended consequences. It should disturb us all that 4,500 American soldiers are dead and a trillion dollars have been squandered.

  • I think media should be kept away from iran

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