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Iraq: controlling information « Previous | |Next »
September 4, 2006

Things must be bad in Iraq if, as the Daily Telegraph reports, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the influential moderate Shia leader in Iraq, has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting that there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.Shias are ignoring his calls for calm and are switching their allegiance in their thousands to more militant groups (such as those of Muqtada al-Sadr in the Shiite south) which promise protection from Sunni violence and revenge for attacks.


The core conflict in Iraq has changed from a battle against insurgents to an increasingly bloody fight between Shia and Sunni Muslims, creating conditions that are leading to low level civil war. Meanwhile the rightwingers in Washington continue to play Churchill, denounce "appeasement" and talk in terms of grand ideological struggles.

An editorial in The SeattleTimes says that the Bush administration it has a mania for secrecy, its obsessive need to control what, when, how and why democratic citizens learn about its activities:

Anyone who doesn't see a pattern here has not been paying attention. From its 18-hour blackout of news that the vice president had shot a man, to its paying a newspaper columnist to write favorable pieces, to its habit of putting out video press releases disguised as TV news, to its penchant for stamping top secret on anything that doesn't move fast enough, this administration has repeatedly shown contempt for the right of the people to know what's going on. At a time when information is more readily available than ever, this government is working like 1952 to enforce ignorance.

Enforcing ignorance implies mass deception.The Bush administration is now selling Iraq as an integral part of the larger "war on terrorism", which as now an historic struggle against "fascism" – or "Islamo-fascism". The conflict faced by Washington in the region is now situated in the context of the rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:58 PM | | Comments (0)