Saddam Good, Bush Bad.

This is the spin of Caroline Hawley’s ‘report’. Frankly, I’m just shocked that the Coalition forces have not got Baghdad up and running yet. Who would’ve thought that after some four months since the overthrow of the Saddam regime, Humpty Dumpty is not yet re-assembled. (Via Andrew Sullivan.)

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3 Responses to Saddam Good, Bush Bad.

  1. Jacketman says:

    Read Hawley’s ‘report’ in full. Here’s a sample.

    “It’s good that they got rid of Saddam Hussein, but the problem is that they haven’t changed anything,” she says. “I just want them to fulfil their promises to us.”

    The whole piece drips of ‘the Americans haven’t fixed it for us yet.”

    The biggest issue with decades (centuries?) of rule by kings and dictators is that the people don’t understand what freedom really means. Until it occurs to the Iraq people to ‘fix it’ themselves, that country will continue to be in big trouble.


  2. ed says:

    ‘The violence which postwar Iraq has unleashed has shocked the world’-
    Caroline Hawley

    While not everything Hawley says is wrong, for instance the statement that Iraqis are generally glad to be rid of Saddam, there are many instances of bad reporting. Take the quote above. Is it really a realistic tone when there are so many horrific instances of violence say in The Congo, or Liberia, or Chechnya? Is the world shockable in the way she implies? Or are they shocked because they expect America to sort out all their problems, and blame them whatever happens? Is the world shocked, in fact, because organisations like the BBC report America negatively and stereotypically. They either build them up into appearing an invincible giant (which they’re not), or make them out to be incompetent (which they’re far from being by international standards- eg. ours and the French).

    Note also the implication that the Americans spawned the violence, when Islamic terrorism is a long standing fact, and Saddam’s regime far more murderous that anything we now see. Compare the present situation with the death rota of Abu Graib and you’ll find that Hawley has forgotten more about reality than she is able to report.

    Another fact is that Hawley does not properly interrogate her sources. She quotes one woman- Zainab Hussein (ok I know Hussein is a common name, but…where’s her home town?)- whose husband was an army officer, finally falling victim to Saddam’s regime in 1991. In other words, he must have been (to be an officer) in sympathy with the regime for a long period of time (during and after the time the Kurds were assaulted, for instance). The rules of that regime eventually worked against her, but can we expect her not to be sceptical of America’s hold on the Iraqi people given her background? She is a suspect source, and we hear nothing sceptical from Hawley to explain that. Her cynicism about American progress is relayed unthinkingly to the reader- not journalism in my view.

    Ed (too long I imagine, but worth saying anyway)


  3. ed says:

    Darn it- I meant to say ‘in 1996’. That’s when Zainab’s husband died. Sorry- it’s important to try and get OUR facts right, but difficult without an edit facility. Memo to Ed to put this box up over the article, keeping the facts in view! Apologies for any other boo boos.