[thechat] reporter fired for reporting

Bob Haroche spambait at onpointsolutions.com
Mon Mar 31 12:14:57 CST 2003

Erik wrote:

> On the other hand, the "embedded" reporters are only allowed to do
> what they're told and are not even allowed to use satellite phones.
> What's the difference?

Erik, I appreciate your anti-war, anti-Bush regime sentiments and
largely agree with them. In fact it was your well-articulated passion
about the issues that drew me to sub to this list to hear more. But
from my perspective at least, you're undercutting the power of your
arguments by constantly attempting to draw a moral equivalence between
the Iraqi regime and the US government.

Is that supposed to be your point? Are you saying that because
embedded reporters are subject to military censorship, that Peter
Arnett is correct in suggesting that the Iraqi "minders" are fully
supportive of a free press and, by implication, that "we're being fed
BS" when other western journalists describe Iraq's interference with
their desire and
ability to interview civilians?

>> [Quoting MSNBC:] "IT WAS wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview
to state
>> controlled Iraqi TV - especially at a time of war - and it was
>> wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in
>> that interview," NBC News President Neal Shapiro said in a
>> statement. "Therefore, Peter Arnett will no longer be reporting
>> for NBC News and MSNBC."
> That's hilarious! Rephrased: "Iraq cannot exercise freedom of the
> press and free speech until the US has bombed and slaughtered them
> into a fully liberated state.

Are you really suggesting that Iraq is now, or has ever, exercised
freedom of the press? Doesn't freedom of the press mean freedom to
publish opinions contrary
to the ruling powers?

On Friday there was a political firestorm at the White House over
by US Gen. Wallace that the US war plan was lacking in some respects
("The enemy we're fighting is not the enemy we war-gamed against.").
Despite Don Rumsfeld's assertions to the contrary, I'm sure Wallace
was reprimanded and told in no uncertain terms to shut his mouth. I'm
also confident that if an Iraqi general had something similar, he
would have been shot (perhaps along with his family).

> Well, we're being fed BS: the story about Iraqis giving coalition
> soldiers eggs and potatoes. Bull crap.

Relevance? Sounds to me like you're building a straw man argument.
Admitting that the US propaganda machine is in full swing, how does
that negate the brutality of the Iraqi regime? I'd be more interested
in hearing reports of Iraqis inside Iraq saying "I can say anything I
want about Saddam, including my belief that he's a lousy leader,
without any fear of reprimand." And yes, I'm aware that there's quite
an effort by the US administration and business interests to stifle
dissent here in the US, but in my mind I still don't see a moral
equivalence between the (pop group) Dixie Chicks not getting radio air
time because of their anti-war views and their being jailed, tortured
and executed.

> and if you read independent or Middle Eastern newspapers

I'd love to have some good links for these types of resources, as well
as other forums for discussing these events. I've been reading a
variety of western sources, but only a sporadic sampling of Middle
Eastern media (from google searches) -- and I still can't access
http://www.english.aljazeera.net. Thanks.

Bob Haroche
O n P o i n t  S o l u t i o n s

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