Perhaps there should be no surprise when we hear major corporate media’s reports concerning the war in Iraq. It, after all, mirrors what the Bush administration has been saying since the increase of the resistance towards the American occupation could longer be hidden from the eye of the camera. Nor should we be surprised by the fact that what passes for news on the television very rarely resembles printed media or for that matter what scholars have been saying long before the first bomb was dropped. So lets take a quick look on why tv news gets it so wrong.
The first problem with all corporate media is that it gets away with so much of its reporting by being A historic in their approach to delivering a story. This is, of coarse by design. If you don’t explain a situation from an historic or relevant stand point, you can report what ever you want and take what ever angle best suits the ideology of those who own a particular syndicate. The best example of this is fox news which can give reports that sound like a pentagon briefing only because they don’t have to explain why it is that what they report does not fit at all, the reality of Iraq or its people.
Perhaps it would surprise most American’s that Iraq was under the rule of a very progressive leader that provided women the chance to hold down careers, the poor had full access of land and workers belonged truly powerful unions. The year was 1959 under Abdel Al-Qusim who was involved in a coup to over throw the Hashemites, pro British Sunnis. At the time the Middle East was rediscovering Nationalist pride. Shiites and Sunnis (who didn’t support their pro west neighbors,) along with the Kurds and even many Jews were able to live in a very stable peace. One would think, according to the latest national speech, that the United States would be pleased with such a government. But, when looking at Iraq from outside the Bush tainted glasses, which is the healthy way of doing it, there were at least four problems with the Iraq situation when it came to US interests. First, its parliament had a communist majority, while it is relatively accepted the war with communism was never anything more than a red herring to explain some of ower most unsavory actions around the world, the fear of Soviet influence was real and to even have a communist parliament put your country on the West’s hit list. Second you had a free and truly sovereign nation sitting on the worlds second largest oil supply. Since 1938, every western nation prized nothing more than the full access to Middle Eastern oil. The situation of a free nation sitting on such an oil supply was the worst nightmare for any western nation from England to the United States. Third, Qusim sought to reestablish Kuwait as a part of Iraq. And forth, Iraq had a minor arms deal with the Soviet Union which amounted to small arms so its military could defend itself.
None of this information has been reported on any of the major networks nor has the fact that in in 1959 a young CIA agent Named Saddam Hussein attempted to assassinate the Iraqi leader with western funding and training. And in 1963, CIA staff stood by as Saddam and his coworkers slaughtered the majority of the parliament. The history from then until now is too long to allow for any meaningful analysis unless, you were running a series so, in the interest of time, we can take a look at two specific dates of interest, 1972 and 1983.
In 1972 Saddam nationalized Iraqi oil under the request of OPEC. Just a few years earlier, US representatives claimed Iraq was the model of democracy for the Middle East but, suddenly, it became the most dangerous terrorist state in the world, second only to the Soviet Union. Also that year Henry Kissinger gave a speech that has received little attention in the American press. During that speech he stated that “the issue of oil is too important to leave to the Arabs.” This statement was the clear feeling of Washington.
In 1983, after the slaughter of several thousands of Shiites in 1982, US sales to Iraq more than doubled. You can see the hand shake of Saddam and Rumsfeld on the National archives. Not once was any of this brought up by either political party. But, again the mainstream media is able to get around this pesky facts by not mentioning them.
Until next time…