700 Iraqi Civilians Killed by Americans in Fallujah Were Never Seen on U.S. TV, But We’ve Seen A Lot of the Kidnapped Mr. Johnson
06/21/04 “ICH” — First, let me condemn the kidnapping of Mr. Johnson, the American hostage of the Al-Qaeda group in Saudi Arabia; it is against Islamic law to kidnap civilians or to hold them as hostages. Those who do such acts are outside of Islam, and we do not recognize them as Muslims. I condemn this as an American and as the former Director of The Islamic Center in Washington, DC.
Let me also condemn the U.S. media and the U.S. government for never allowing the American public to see the brutal killing by the U.S. military of over 700 innocent civilians in Fallujah in the attack by General Kimmit’s forces a few months back.
Both the kidnapping of Johnson and the killings in Fallujah were wrongs and must be condemned by all moral human beings.
This has been part of the problem with our public being kept in the dark on some things, then being bombarded with others. Some of this imbalance was reduced when the photos and videos of Abu Ghraib were shown to the US public by CBS and then by others. But, to this day, it is not enough.
Yes, torture is very bad and should never have happened. But the killing of over 700 civilians, and the maiming of over a thousand in Fallujah, a city that General Kimmit and his colleagues threatened to “level” was never shown on American TV. The US would have leveled the city–but were stopped by the international outcry–this dastardly deed has never been seen by the U.S. public to this day. Yet, we know that American media people did see some of the corpses and major devastation. Al Jazeera offered the tapes to the US, but none of our media and our “courageous” media moguls wanted to show these tapes. If they had, perhaps the American people could better understand why there is so much hatred and fear of America in Iraq–especially hatred for Bush and for the American military.
This hatred makes things much worse for most of our military, who are men and women who do not deserve to be targeted and hated, as is the case today and will be the case from this day on until America leave Iraq. Unfortunately, it appears that Bush intends to keep troops in Iraq, so that America “stays the course.” As some American generals and diplomats have claimed recently in a letter against the Bush administration, asking for it to resign or for voters to vote him out of office–there is no clear or wise course of action now in place in the Bush administration. Some fear that Kerry will do no better, so much so that some of the independents have begun calling Kerry, “Bush Lite.”
So long as American troops stay in Iraq, our troops will be the target that will unify both radical and even moderates who have given up on mediation and negotiation with the American group, or its IGC puppets who are now to be put in charge of the country. Unfortunately, our American public will only hear of “terrorists”, never hearing that these are but frustrated Iraqis or Iraqis who have lost relatives or family or friends to American attacks.
Add to these things that for over the past year, the major US media have repeated and repeated the Bush/Cheney lies that Iraq was an ally of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Most of us who are real experts were never allowed on major media or even our minor second rate media to contradict this, this included even NPR and PBS, even on such supposedly honest shows such as NOW, THE WORLD, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Finally, today the 9/11 Commission has come out with the FACT that there were no ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq.
In fact, most of us who knew the reality kept saying, in various local radio programs, call-in programs when we could get on the air, and in online websites that Al Qaeda and Saddam were enemies who wanted to wipe on another out. But, this is just another parallel of why you’ll not see the victims of American air strikes and tank strikes in Iraq, but you will always see an American or two kidnapped or killed. Neither of these evil deeds is justifiable according to our Muslim or Christian theologies–yet our American military and the Bush administration keep violating their religion, just as these Bin Laden people keep violating Islam.
Let us hope the world, the people and the media wake up so that we can stop this wrongful slaughter and kidnapping.
Sam Hamod writes on world affairs; he is the former editor of 3rd World News in Wash, DC; was a professor at Princeton, Michigan, Iowa & Howard; he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org