Media Deception and Iraq
July 11, 2001 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Media Deception and Iraq
An interesting quick story-- one journalist smells a rat in an AP report about Iraq using money to buy weapons, investigates the genesis of the story, and finds more deception. Meanwhile statistics on children dying from sanctions go unpublished.
posted by chaz (8 comments total)
get those fleas off the rat and publish those stats on dying children...what, you need validation?
posted by clavdivs at 7:46 AM on July 11, 2001

commentary was also trying to discredit ed said awhile back. voices in the wilderness has stuff on the sanctions.
posted by kliuless at 7:56 AM on July 11, 2001

Though I dislike Commentary in general, and though I know that many nations have done away with sanctions for their own self-interest, clearly if Iraq can pay 10 thousand per family for any Palestinian in;tifada fighter who dies for the cause, they can also afford to help their kids....and no, I did not get the money thing from Commentary or the by now discredited AP but rather from an Arab source.
posted by Postroad at 7:59 AM on July 11, 2001

...just another example of the untrustworthiness of corporate news media. If it's not the intentional slanting of news or burying of news, it's slanting or distortion of news through incompetence.
posted by fleener at 8:43 AM on July 11, 2001

it's slanting or distortion of news through incompetence.

Not in Britain, at least. There's a general consensus across the media, tacitly supported within the Foreign Office, that sanctions haven't worked in a while. (Compare the War on Drugs, another triumph of ideological paralysis, whether enforced by the left or right.)

But to abandon the policy after ten years would be perceived as a defeat. The political investment in them is too entrenched: it's like having a stockholding in shares that have lost 90% of their value, where you're not prepared to sell and take the loss.

As John Simpson wrote three years ago:

. . . there is no point in continuing with a policy that actively makes Saddam stronger. What is needed is a specific series of non-economic measures that will isolate Saddam and put the blame firmly on the man himself.

No, I don't know what those measures might be. But simply to wait for Saddam to die carries the risk of alienating the Iraq he leaves behind.
posted by holgate at 9:06 AM on July 11, 2001

postroad: Iraq has not actually paid that money, which I believe was meant to be paid to any children killed by the Israel occupation army. There have been 100 or so of them killed, which would be about a million dollars. Given that Iraq has more than 20 million children, 1 million dollars wouldn't make a huge difference in their health care budget.

And while it's true that many nations have given up on sanctions for their own self interest, that doesn't change the fact that virtually every human rights group has deeply criticized them as tantamount to slow genocide.
posted by chaz at 9:06 AM on July 11, 2001

to Chaz: thanks. My point is not that the money (had it been sent) would have taken care instead of all Iraqui children but rather that making a public show of sending money out of the country and at the same time pleading about the needs within the country does not win much public relations.
Iraq has spent zillions for weaponry, army, R and R, and this too is money that might be used for the people.
That said, we also know that oil being shipped out by hugging shore (within three mile limits) so that there is an active trade going on and we have no control over it.
I agree that our policy is a failed one, as it also is in Cuba, but this is the nonsense that is kept going to show the American public how tough our leaders are (either party).
posted by Postroad at 9:14 AM on July 11, 2001

The one thing that's clear about this is that the person who wrote the story is not a journalist and has no credibility: she didn't see the report, she doesn't think the other reporter can get a copy, now go away. If AP and Reuters want to keep their credibility, they should refuse to carry anything under her byline.
posted by rosvicl at 7:09 AM on July 12, 2001

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