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Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship

by TChris

Iraqi journalists who try to report the diversity of opinion in Iraqi society complain of harassment and censorship by the United States and coalition forces. U.S. forces have detained eight journalists since March. Two of the journalists followed insurgents for a few days to write about their lives; they're now said to be security risks.

"We were living without press freedom during Saddam Hussein's regime and today there is not much difference. Journalists are being held by US forces for doing their job when they write about opposing views," Kamal Aidan, a senior official from the IAJ, told IRIN in Baghdad.

So much for the spread of American-style democracy and freedom.

"We cannot write with freedom anymore because if you write against them [US forces and Iraqi government] you are going to be considered automatically against them and face the possibility of being closed down. The safety of journalists and press freedom should be at the top of the agenda for action in the coming months to guarantee our freedom in writing and transmitting true news," editor of a local Iraqi newspaper called al-Baghdadi, Abdullah Kareem, told IRIN.

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    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    "We were living without press freedom during Saddam Hussein's regime and today there is not much difference."
    If it's any consolation to the Iraqis, we treat our own media the same way here these days...and they LOVE it!

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#2)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    Iraqi Journalists should be imprisoned as traitors.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#3)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    et al - Laying aside the fact that if the terrorists win there will be zero freedom in Iraq, you have to wonder what these people don't understand about supporting your side. It is the most important issue so-called journalist face, and their failure in the US, as well as in Iraq, to understand that they are not just observers, but actual citizens with responsibilities is destroying their credibility with the public.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    I think Rummy said it, didn't he: You have to be careful what you say. ''An open society is a noisy place. And it is fueled by the unfettered access to information, so citizens can separate for themselves the true from the false.'' Editorial The Detroit News, 2003 Anybody else think that the term embedded journalist is ironic? The main stream journalists are literally in bed with the armed forces. All totalitarian regimes wage a very aggressive war against an open press. Jim is a good foot soldier. You just keep it up Jim. People need to be careful what they say. People if they hear different views and accounts of events might start thinking and you really have to be careful what you think. Jim, I am going to stipulate that you enjoy a congenital exemption on that one.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#5)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    CA - Following terrorists around so as to write a piece on their life style adds nothing to the war effort. In fact it actually harms it. [insult to another commenter deleted]

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#6)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    deleted for namecalling.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#7)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    Destroyed credibility? I'll go read up on Wm T Sherman's attitude towards the press. Same as it ever was.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#8)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    ppj hasn't been drinking his kool-aid, they are not 'terrorists', they are 'insurgents', if you don't believe me, just ask the DOD and bushco. That said, their country has been invaded on false pretenses, even bush admits that. It is similar to when the british press followed the american rebels around to report why they objected to George III's policies. If that had been censored then british citizens wouldn't have objected to their gov't's policies and we would probably still be a crown colony. Aside from the ppj baiting moment, everyone is better off the more information they have. If we are installing 'freedom' at the point of a gun we should be able to deal with a free press.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Freedom seems to be in full bloom in Iraq....at least our version, which isn't too free after all.

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Sailor.... they are not 'terrorists', they are 'insurgents', if you don't believe me, just ask the DOD and bushco. I think you've been out at sea too long? They are terrorists and everybody (including Bush) calls them that. That said, their country has been invaded on false pretenses, even bush admits that. Most of them aren't Iraqi.... and Bush has never admitted anything close to what you have alluded to. everyone is better off the more information they have. Please explain how filming terrorists placing the the next road side bomb that is about to kill more US soldiers is better for them? The only thing that could make that better is if those reporters told the troops where the bombs are & who planted them...yes?

    Re: Iraqi Journalists Complain of Censorship (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    From speeches by bush on WH.gov: "Serious problems remain in several cities. Prime Minister Allawi believes this combination of decisive action and outreach to peaceful citizens is the most effective way to defeat insurgents, and secure the peace of Iraq. And America stands with him." "In Iraq, we captured two deputies of the terrorist Zarqawi, and our forces have killed or captured hundreds of terrorists and insurgents near the Syrian border." Scott McLellan - "The President also said yesterday that these insurgent attacks are having some kind of effect in Iraq" McLellan - " The insurgents will be defeated. " from the DOD website: Bush Touts Strength of Democracy in Iraq WASHINGTON, May 31, 2005 Iraqi insurgents fear democracy, and that is why they are attacking innocent people in that country, President Bush said during a White House news conference today. Bush said he is confident that Iraqi troops will be "up to the task of defeating the insurgents." Story Iraq Insurgent Activity 'Will Clearly Decline' WASHINGTON, May 31, 2005 The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throws," and its activity "will clearly decline" over time, Vice President Dick Cheney predicted during a May 30 interview on CNN's "Larry King Live." bush said he invaded iraq because they had WMDs. Now he admits they aren't there. "Please explain how filming terrorists placing the the next road side bomb that is about to kill more US soldiers is better for them?"Because Iraqis should be able to judge for themselves, by complete accurate info, on who the terrorists are. I'm tired of doing your homework for you. These facts are on gov't websites. Why do you call bush and the DOD liars!? It must be because you hate america.