Friday, December 29, 2006

Watching coverage of Saddam's execution on CNN. 
Tape after tape of Saddam speaking to adoring throngs, of him smiling at a conference table, of Saddam demurely being poked and prodded by an American medic shortly after his capture.

Noticably absent:

Mass graves
Screaming Kurds and Shia
People being forced to blow themselves up.
People being thrown from high buildings while handcuffed.
People who had their hands cut off by his jailers.
People having their tongues cut out on camera.
Any interviews with Saddam's victims.

Meanwhile, Jon Alterman seizes the moment to note that the American news channels were ahead of the Iraqi ones. Apparently, it's America's fault, too.

No problems with Cooper. Just the videotape and guest selection.

Apparently the brutality of his crimes is too much for the sensitive eyes & ears of Americans being asked to sacrifice their blood and treasure to continue the erradication of Saddam's "legacy".

Clearly. And yet, CNN had no problem airing the sniper footage.

I notice that the focus of today's coverage is of "mourners" at the grave of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay. Oh no, we made people sad!

Why does the guy even have a grave? Why didn't they scatter his ashes far and wide? Now it's going to become a shrine to his "martyrdom".
Hey you like to bring up bad or untruthful reporting from Iraq.

Well now you have all the reports that came out in the first few hours after saddams execution. Non of them reported the scenes as it was. There was not one report of people yelling and jeering or telling saddam to go to hell. No, all the first reports made it sound like a professional execution. thank god for the internet, or all we would know, is what "they tell us". I can only imagine your going to have a field day with this one.

Not sure what you're getting at here. Zeyad has poked some holes in the Times' reporting.

But the fact someone might have jeered at Saddam's execution is sort of a nonstory to me. People jeer outside jails in the US all the time when people are executed - for a lot less.

Actually, I though Alterman was a great guest. He didn't blame the US, simply noted how significant that al-Arabiyya and al-Hurra got the news first (frankly, I'm sure at least 50 million arabs thought it was odd, and noticed, too--especially al-Hurra, which doesn't have a reputation for path-breaking reporting).

As for the jeers, they were sectarian political jeers by the guards and officials--not by crowds outside--and completely out of place. The guards and court officials/witnesses DO NOT chant political slogans as prisoners are executed in the US. That they did in Iraq, and the specific timing of the lynching on the eve of Eid-Adha, gives the whole thing the feel of a sectarian lynching. Its counterproductive, in both Iraq and the region (which is why the USG is quietly cringing over the whole thing).
That's not all, but now there is a rumor that Sadr himself was there, the fat guy in the mask putting the noose on Saddams neck. Who knows if it's true, but now they can make the claim

What my original comment was getting at was the fact that the "official" video was clean, it was propaganda, and did not reflect what really happened at the scene.

To quote you Jason, "how can we now believe anything they tell us".

The "official" story was put out quick, and was repeated from various outlets. I guess we can expect letters to all the editors, and the USM public relations people, I forget what they are called. CENTCOM?
Rex, that is why the occupying government should have tried, sentenced and executed all of the leaders of Saddam's regime themselves. Now it looks to the world like the US is supporting the Shiites against the Sunnis.

We are to the extent that the Sunnis choose not to participate in the government. When they participate, then we will be supporting them as well. Their choice. In the meantime it was an Iraqi trial, sentence,appeal and execution. The US was not directly involved at all.
This is the problem with letting Iraqis rule their own country. They might do things differently from how we would like.

p.s. Mussolini was hanged brutally by the Italian people. I am sure there are other examples of not so decorous killings in the West.
A question:

Do you think Americans were disturbed by the appearance of the location, perhaps expecting a ultra clean American style prison? They used a former military intelligence building, which looks awful by American standards, but is pretty much the norm in the 3rd World.
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