[thechat] reporter fired for reporting

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Mon Mar 31 14:59:42 CST 2003

On Monday, March 31, 2003, at 12:14 PM, Bob Haroche wrote:
> 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.


> 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?

No, what I meant to mean was that Arnett is a reporter. It's his job to 
observe, relate what he observes and analyze things. His job is not to 
help the US invasion be successful: but that was exactly why he was 
fired: because his reporting "undermin[ed] the Bush administration's 

He was fired because he exercised his First Amendment rights. If he 
would have been fired because he distorted facts, that would be another 
matter. This is a textbook example of the Twain quote, "Freedom of the 
press is limited to those who own presses."

>> 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?

I think I'm correct in thinking that all Iraqi media is state run with 
a few exceptions in the Kurdish controlled North. I was pointing out 
the irony that NBC (perhaps guided by their upper management's close 
ties to the White House) didn't like the fact that he freely stated his 
opinion in Iraqi media when the ostensible goal of the invasion is to 
allow people people in Iraq to do things like freely state their 
opinion in the media.

>> 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'm not saying that Hussein and his cronies are all love and flowers, 
but they've been demonized by lies. The best documented case is the 
story about how Iraqi soldiers pulled babies out of incubators to let 
them die on the floor, The entire story was a fiction created by the 
Public Relations firm Hill & Knowlton:


A longish article, but worth the read is:


>  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."

Well, now they're saying "The Anglo-Americans are invading our cities! 
You are our leader, help us! We forgive your past transgressions, but 
get these Crusaders out of our Country." There's always been a strong 
sense of Nationalism in Iraq, and as Zeeshan has told us, he thought 
the Iraqi people hated Saddam, but hated the US more. People in the CIA 
warned the hawks/neocons that this would happen, but their advice was 
ignored. I can't immediately find a good link, but in addition to 
ignoring the advice that a larger force was needed, people in the CIA 
also advised that the Iraqi people would not see the invaders as 
liberators and revolt, but unite under Hussein.

Actually, it's reasonable to believe that the planners KNEW a larger 
force was needed and KNEW the Iraqi people would not revolt against 
Hussein's regime ... it goes like this:

1. Create a false association between Iraq and al Queda (no proof yet). 
Claim Iraq has WMD (no proof yet, although I would wager there are 
still some ... not enough to worry about though) (would not be 
surprised if Husein wasn't aware of their existence: the US gave them a 
whole bunch in the 80's and it's impossible to keep track of a whole 
bunch of anything).

Public thinks, "Ooh, that's scary. Something most be done, we don't 
want another 9/11"

2. Tell the public it will be a "cakewalk" (Ken Adelman) and Husseins 
reqeime would "fall like a stack of cards at the first whiff of 
gunpowder" (Cheney).

Public thinks, "OK, it will be an easy war"

3. Tell the public Iraqis want to be bombed into liberation: "I really 
do believe we will be greeted as liberators" (Cheney), "Like the people 
of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped for liberators.'" 

Public thinks, "We will make ourselves safer and give the Iraqi people 
what they are yearning for! We are wonderful and noble"

4. Launch a bumbling offensive, knowing full well that it will be 
mostly just sitting around in the desert.

5. Wait for other countries to "inject themselves into" (I'll bet a 
dollar that that is the phrase they'll use) the conflict. Claim, "We 
must eliminate this terrorist threat!"

Public thinks, "Ohhh, this is really scary. Drastic measures are 

6. Hope that WMD are used. Respond by using tactical nukes, as they 
openly admit is an option.

7. Win decisively and control Middle East oil.

8. Polish off and reassemble the nuclear arsenal.

9. AEI and PNAC throw a joint celebration, knowing that the rest of 
"road" to "pax americana" is now really a "cakewalk".

> I'd love to have some good links for these types of resources,

I'm trying to turn <http://shockingelk.com/> into just this: look at 
the "external" links on the left. (the language in my short 
explanations is intentionally dumbed down, but each explanation has a 
link to more in-depth essays at the top - particularly, the two link at 
the top of "how and why they plan more wars" are really good.)

The key to understanding that it's not a conspiracy theory, but 
conspiracy fact is that they are not going after the oil for money, but 
to control the world oil markets and therefore military power.

>  as well
> as other forums for discussing these events.

<http://www.democraticunderground.com/> is the best I've found - 
however it's a big time committment because of how rapid new 
information comes up (I'm speaking of the forums)

> I still can't access
> http://www.english.aljazeera.net. Thanks.

That's because the conservative wing-nuts have been doing a DDOS attack 
ever since the DNS hijacking problem got fixed. "Free speech for me is 
good. If you disagree with me, it's bad".

What really sucks is that a lot of anti-invasion people who are 
stooping to their level and trying to launch DDOS attacks back at cnn, 
fox, etc.


Anti-invasion activism ideas:

If the only thing we still have to fear is fear itself, there is more 
than enough to go around.
- R.C. Longworth

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.
-Franklin Roosevelt


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