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Friday, January 28, 2005

Iraq to Vo...BOOM...te


The Iraq elections are this weekend...as if you didn't know...

The media is covering it to the hilt...but in a strange Orwellian fashion where the violence is seen as normal and acceptable...or not even reported...

Shuster from MSNBC is there on his first trip to Baghdad... He's got an interesting blog that gives you a tiny picture of what is going on from the perspective of a newly arrived pretty straight up journalist.

but for a real taste of what's really going in Iraq you have to see News From Inside Iraq by Dahr Jamail.

Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.

His dispatches were quickly recognized as an important media resource and he is now writing for the Inter Press Service, The NewStandard and many other outlets.
...
Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country.
From Dahr Jamail's Blog Today...

Despite a continuing increase in the already draconian security measures imposed across Iraq, the bombs keep coming.

Today in the al-Dora district of Baghdad a primary school which had been a designated polling station was struck by a car bomb. Four Iraqi Police (IP) were killed.

A GMC packed with explosives rammed a checkpoint at the al-Dora power plant, killing several people, and as far south as Basra a policeman died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.

...

I'm on a mission to photograph the barricades that are springing up across the capital city, and one of Abu Talat’s sons, Ahmed, is along with us doing some filming as well. Just after filming more of the abundance of concrete blocks and razor wire we are pulled over by an unmarked car of three IP’s.

They take Abu Talat and Ahmed’s ID’s, the registration papers for the car and tell us to follow them.

I’d been detained by mujahideen in Fallujah last May while conducting interviews inside the city, and Abu Talat and I were piled into a GMC with armed Iraqi National Guard (in Fallujah they were all muj), and taken in for questioning.

So this didn’t feel like a kidnapping, since we had our car sans personal armed escorts. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say I was a bit concerned.

“Should I escape? I could try to get a taxi,” I say to Abu Talat. “No. We’re fine. They will just verify we are press. Besides, you are American. You are the only thing keeping them from throwing me in jail.”

From the back seat Ahmed says, “Me too!”

They pull over at a marked police vehicle and everything is sorted out. “I apologize, we just have to make sure you are press,” says one of the policemen.

Before leaving them Abu Talat felt like having some fun and asked the policeman, “Why didn’t you take the American’s papers?”

“The Americans will fuck my mother if I do,” he replied. They both burst into laughter.

bit of black humor in a very tense place...

His other posts are not only informative but some are truely shocking...
Just Go read Iraq Dispatches....





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