Global Eye: Filter Tips Print E-mail
Dear Ones,
Chris Floyd's Global Eye is invariably a good read, and no less his "Filter
Tips" of March 18 which further exposes the US military's bombing of
Fallujah with "mustard gas, nerve gas and other burning chemicals".

But to paraphrase Floyd, "nary a word from representatives of The Washington
Post, Knight-Ridder and more than 20 other international news outlets".

Bush Jnr's filter is historically reminiscent of Hitler's control over the
media in WW II Germany, with reports of the Fallujah atrocity left to Italy's
 Giuliana Sgrena and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [see item #2]! The
world has witnessed the price, in terms of terror, which Giuliana paid for
her "truth", but more of the same is already in the wings as today's Fascism
paves the way for Empire to get away with blue murder [read *unfettered
barbarism*]! - Lynette
========================
 Friday March 18 2005

Global Eye: Filter Tips

By Chris Floyd

U.S. President George W. Bush often complains about the "media filter" that
distorts the true picture of his administration's accomplishments in Iraq.
And he's right. For regardless of where you stand on Bush's policies in the
region, it's undeniable that the political and commercial biases of the
American press have consistently misrepresented the reality of the situation.

Here's an excellent example. Earlier this month, the American media
completely ignored an important announcement from an official of the Iraqi
government concerning the oft-maligned U.S. operation to clear insurgents
from the city of Fallujah last November. Although the press conference of
Health Ministry investigator Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli was attended by
representatives from The Washington Post, Knight-Ridder and more than 20
other international news outlets, nary a word of his team's thorough
investigation into the truth about the battle made it through the filter's
dense mesh. Once again, the American public was denied the full story of one
of President Bush's remarkable triumphs.
Dr. ash-Shaykhli's findings provided confirmation of earlier reports by many
other Iraqis -- reports that were also ignored by the arrogant filterers,
who seem more interested in hearing from terrorists or anti-occupation
extremists than ordinary Iraqis and those like Dr. ash-Shaykhli, who serve
in the U.S.-backed interim government vetted and approved by President Bush.
But while the media elite turn up their noses at such riffraff, the
testimony of these common folk and diligent public servants gives ample
evidence of Bush's innovative method of liberating innocent Iraqis from
tyranny:

He burns them to death with chemical weapons.

Dr. ash-Shaykhli was sent by the pro-American Baghdad government to assess
health conditions in Fallujah, a city of 300,000 that was razed to the
ground by a U.S. assault on a few hundred insurgents, most of whom slipped
away long before the attack. The ruin of the city was complete: Every single
house was either destroyed (from 75 to 80 percent of the total) or heavily
damaged. The city's entire infrastructure -- water, electricity, food,
transport, medicine -- was obliterated. Indeed, the city's hospitals were
among the first targets, in order to prevent medical workers from spreading
"propaganda" about civilian casualties, U.S. officials said at the time.

Eyewitness accounts from the few survivors of the onslaught, which killed an
estimated 1,200 noncombatants, have consistently reported the use of
"burning chemicals" by American forces: horrible concoctions that roasted
people alive with an unquenchable jellied fire, InterPress reported. They
also tell of whole quadrants of the city in which nothing was left alive,
not even dogs or goats -- quadrants that were sealed off by the victorious
Americans for mysterious scouring operations after the battle. Others told
of widespread use of cluster bombs in civilian areas -- a flagrant violation
of the Geneva Conventions, but a standard practice throughout the war.

The few fragments of this information that made it through the ever-
vigilant filter were instantly dismissed as anti-American propaganda,
although they often came from civilians who had opposed the heavy-handed
insurgent presence in the town. Rejected as well were the innumerable horror
stories of those who had seen their whole families -- including women,
children, the sick and the elderly -- slaughtered in the "liberal rules of
engagement" established by Bush's top brass. Most of the city was declared
"weapons-free": military jargon meaning that soldiers could shoot "whatever
they see -- it's all considered hostile," The New York Times reported, in a
story buried deep inside the paper.

Yet the ash-Shaykhli team -- again, appointed by the Bush-backed government
-- confirmed the use of "mustard gas, nerve gas and other burning chemicals"
by U.S. forces during the battle. Dr. ash-Shaykhli said that survivors --
still living in refugee camps, along with some 200,000 former Fallujah
residents who fled before the assault -- are now showing the medical effects
of attack by chemical agents and the use of depleted uranium shells.
(American officials have admitted raining more than 250,000 pounds of
toxin-tipped DU ammunition on Iraqis since the war began.)

The Pentagon has acknowledged using white phosphorus in Fallujah, but only
for "illumination purposes." It denied using napalm in the attack -- but, in
the course of that denial, it admitted that its earlier denials of using
napalm elsewhere in Iraq were in fact false. And individual Marines filing
"After Action Reports" on the Internet for military enthusiasts back home
have detailed the routine use of white phosphorus shells, propane bombs and
"jellied gasoline" (also known as napalm) during direct tactical assaults in
Fallujah.

Dr. ash-Shaykhli's findings -- coming from a pro-American government,
buttressed by reams of eyewitness testimony from ordinary Iraqi civilians --
appear to be substantial, credible and worthy of further investigation by
the U.S. press. Certainly, the findings are more credible than the pre-war
lies and fantasies about Saddam's phantom WMD, which the "media filter"
lapped up from the Bush regime and amplified across the nation, rousing
support for an unnecessary, illegal and immoral war. Yet these serious new
atrocity charges have not even been mentioned, much less examined.

Behind the filter -- with its basic story template of "always moral U.S.
policies occasionally marred by a few bad apples" -- a relentless
degeneration of American society is taking place. Brutality and atrocity are
becoming normalized, systemized and rewarded. The noble American ideal of
transcendence -- overcoming the beast within, seeking to embrace an
ever-broader, ever-deeper, ever-richer vision of universal communion and
individual worth -- is dying at the hands of the resurgent barbarity
championed and cultivated by the Bush regime. Old-fashioned citizens are
being replaced by "Bush Americans": wilfully ignorant, bellicose zealots,
cringingly servile toward the powerful, violently hostile to all
"outsiders." Despite Bush's artful complaints, the media filter has served
his degenerate purposes very well.



Annotations

Napalm, Chemical Weapons Used at Fallujah: Iraqi Official
ILCA Online, March 7, 2005

Stories From Fallujah
Iraq Dispatch, Feb. 8, 2005

Fallujah, Tent City, Awaits Compensation
Informed Comment, March 13, 2005

Another Sad Day for Our Country
The American Independent, March 7, 2005

Iraqi Health Ministry Confirms Use of Prohibited Weapons in Attacks on al-Fallujah
Mafkarat al-Islam (Iraq), March 2, 2005

U.S. General From Abu Ghraib Scandal Promoted
Stars and Stripes, March 15, 2005

Odd Happenings in Fallujah
Electronic Iraq, Jan. 18, 2005

U.S. Denies Use of Napalm in Fallujah
U.S, International Information Programs Jan. 27, 2005

The Eyewitnesses Must Be Crazy
Antiwar.com, March 15, 2005

Life Under the Bombs in Iraq
TomDispatch, Feb. 2, 2005

TV News Turns Myopic: Profits Come First
Houston Chronicle, March 16, 2005

The Media Lobby
CorpWatch, March 11, 2005

Journalism, Infotainment and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcasting
Buzzflash, March 17, 2005

Handmaiden of the State: The Role of Media in an Age of Empire
Antiwar.com, March 16, 2005

Extreme Cinema Verite: Soldiers Make Music Videos of Death and Destruction
Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2005

A War Crime in Real Time: Obliterating Fallujah
CounterPunch, Nov. 15, 2004

Inside Fallujah: One Family's Diary of Terror
Scotland Sunday Herald, Nov. 14, 2004

The Marine's Tale: 'I Felt We Were Committing Genocide
The Independent, May 23, 2004

Smoke and Corpses
BBC, Nov. 11, 2004

20 Doctors Killed in Strike on Clinic: Red Crescent
UN Integrated Regional Information Network, Nov. 10, 2004

US Strikes Raze Fallujah Hospital
BBC, Nov. 6, 2004

Ghost City Calls for Help
BBC, Nov. 13, 2004

Let Them Drink Sand: War Crimes in Fallujah
CounterPunch, Nov. 13, 2004

American Heroes
Baghdad Burning, Nov. 16, 2004

Beyond Embattled City, Rebels Roam Free
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 12, 2004

Administration Rejects Ruling on PR Videos

Washington Post, March 14, 2005

Million in Government Ads Helped Pave the Way to War
Antiwar.com, May 28, 2004
=====================
#2 
The News International -- Pakistan
Sunday March 06, 2005-- Muharram 24, 1426 A.H.
'US used mustard, nerve gas in Iraq'

NEW DELHI: A report by Iraq's health ministry has claimed that the US forces
in Iraq had used mustard and nerve gas during their assault on Fallujah last
year. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is on a four-day visit to India,
said this here on Saturday.

The Venezuelan president said, "The ministry of health of the current Iraqi
government commissioned the health minister to investigate the assault on
Fallujah city, which the US-led forces had attacked in November and captured
it from religious extremists."

Hugo Chavez further said, "The minister's report indicated evidence of the
use of mustard gas and nerve gas as they found melted bodies in the city,
where all signs of life - dogs, birds, plants, and all forms of life were
destroyed."

Chavez asserted, "This is only possible with the use of mustard gas and this
is a matter of concern to the whole world. The world is in serious, serious
trouble.'' There was, however, no immediate reaction in Washington or
Baghdad to Chavez's claim.