By: Greg Mitchell
With the crisis somewhat to the west in the Middle East still escalating — promising severe blowback for the U.S. — the latest horrors from Iraq are drawing less attention.
In case anyone is wondering: It’s not getting any better over there. In fact, one might say it is getting worse almost every day. Saturday brought the usual round of car bombings, mortars hitting houses, U.S. troops killed, plus 50 Iraqis abducted.
Ever wonder how the newly “free” Iraqi press is covering the conflict? This gets very little notice in the U.S., which is shocking, since one would expect we could learn an awful lot about he hearts and minds of the people that way — if the Iraqi coverage is really open and tough-minded.
One reason for the lack of coverage is the need for translation. But the U.S. government-backed Open Source Center regularly paraphases highlights from the Iraqi press. Here is a wide and illuminating selection from its summary for July 15, drawn from a variety of newspapers.
–Al-Mashriq carries on page 2 a 60-word report that Ahmad Chalabi is still the head of the de’Ba’thification Commission.
–Al-Sabah carries on page 15 a 700-word report citing an official source at Health Ministry saying that over 8,000 persons, most of whom are children, need to be treated abroad.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July carries on the front page a 300-word report on the statement issued by Iraqi National Troops group condemning US ‘occupation’ forces’ crimes in Iraq.
–Al-Sabah carries on page 2 a 110-word report on a statement by the cabinet that security forces in Dhi Qar arrested a gang trying to smuggle oil in the governorate.
–Al-Mashriq carries on the front page a 1,000-word report on the Israeli attack against Lebanon. The report says that the Iraqi parliament has condemned the attack and demanded the Iraqi people stand beside Lebanese people.
–Al-Adalah carries on page 3 a 500-word article by Dr Ali Khulayf criticizing Harith al-Dari for his seditious statements that encourage sectarian violence.
–Al-Sabah carries on page 3 a 200-word report citing an official source at Health Ministry saying that the morgue received 1,600 bodies in June. . .
–Al-Mashriq carries on page 3 a 450-word report that hundreds of university professors are leaving the country to save their lives from assassination.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July publishes on page 4 a 400-word report entitled ‘Defense Ministry Official Holds Interior Ministry Responsible for Hay al-Jihad Massacre.’ .
–Al-Mashriq carries on page 4 a 300-word report that women have demanded to change item number 41 of the Iraqi permanent constitution. . .
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July runs on page 2 a 500-word report on Statement 288 issued by Association of Muslim Scholars denouncing Iraqi and ‘occupation’ forces for imposing a tight siege around Arab Jubur and other villages in Al-Muqdadiyah District and the random arrest of dozens of Sunnis.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July publishes on page 2 a 500-word report on Statement 293 issued by Association of Muslim Scholars condemning sectarian militias for attacking Sunni mosques in Al-Ghazaliyah and Al-Durah Districts.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July carries on page 2 a 500-word report entitled ‘Association of Muslim Scholars Condemns ‘Occupation’ Forces for Taking Over Al-Ramadi Public Hospital. . .
–Al-Mashriq carries on the front page a 600-word report citing Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr accusing Sunnis of failing to respond to his calls to better Sunni-Shiite relations. .
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July runs on page 3 a 200-word report citing a medical source in Tikrit confirming the discovery of nine bodies.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July carries on page 3 a 230-word report entitled ‘Civilian Killed and Three Injured in Large-Scale Military Operation in Al-Ramadi.’
–Al-Zaman publishes on page 5 a 1,000-word report entitled ‘Merchant and His Sons and Grandson Assassinated in Mosul; British Patrol Release Hostage and Arrest Kidnappers in Basra.’
–Al-Mashriq carries on the front page a 400-word report that about 50 families have left al-Jihad quarter in Baghdad to stay in tents installed on the airport road.
–Al-Sabah carries on page 14 a 200-word report citing legal professors criticizing the Red Crescent International Committee’s decision to withdraw its employees from Iraq.
–Al-Basa’ir on 12 July publishes on page 8 a 600-word report on the difficult humanitarian situation in Al-Muqdadiyah District due to its siege by Iraqi and ‘occupation’ forces.
–Al-Adalah runs on page 4 an 800-word report on the role of terrorist attacks in decreasing the number of Iranian tourists to Al-Najaf Governorate. .
–Al-Mashriq carries on the front page an 80-word report citing the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister revealing that Syrian security forces arrested over 50 persons from various Arab nationalities who were trying to enter Iraqi territories via Syria.