If True, There is No Way to Spin This as a Smart Move

The following item is from the Inter Press Service, an organization that I don't know much about. According to the not-100%-reliable Wikipedia, IPS is an Italian-based organization dedicated to giving third world news and journalists more prominence. The fact of the raid is also reported by the International Federation of Journalists. What is most disturbing, though, is the all-too-plausible account of what motivates these raids quoted below; how much credence you give this, despite its plausibility, must turn at least in part on what one makes of the source.

IRAQ: Another U.S. Military Assault on Media

BAGHDAD, Feb 23 (IPS) – Iraqi journalists are outraged over yet another U.S. military raid on the media.

U.S. soldiers raided and ransacked the offices of the Iraq Syndicate of Journalists (ISJ) in central Baghdad Tuesday this week. Ten armed guards were arrested, and 10 computers and 15 small electricity generators kept for donation to families of killed journalists were seized.

This is not the first time U.S. troops have attacked the media in Iraq, but this time the raid was against the very symbol of it. Many Iraqis believe the U.S. soldiers did all they could to deliver the message of their leadership to Iraqi journalists to keep their mouth shut about anything going wrong with the U.S.-led occupation.

“The Americans have delivered so many messages to us, but we simply refused all of them,” Youssif al-Tamimi of the ISJ in Baghdad told IPS. “They killed our colleagues, closed so many newspapers, arrested hundreds of us and now they are shooting at our hearts by raiding our headquarters. This is the freedom of speech we received.”

Some Iraqi journalists blame the Iraqi government.

“Four years of occupation, and those Americans still commit such foolish mistakes by following the advice of their Iraqi collaborators,” Ahmad Hassan, a freelance journalist from Basra visiting Baghdad told IPS. “They (the U.S. military) have not learned yet that Iraqi journalists will raise their voice against such acts and will keep their promise to their people to search for the truth and deliver it to them at any cost.”

There is a growing belief in Iraq that U.S. allies in the current Iraqi government are leading the U.S. military to raid places and people who do not follow Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's directions.

And these same people think they are smart enough to avoid become Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz's puppets? (Have you read Sy Hersh’s latest yet? You really should.)

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