Sunday, May 13, 2007

Iraq news by Iraqis: Differences in what makes news

Iraqi's report different news than what's reported by U.S. mainstream media. Here are a few examples of what is being reported in Iraq by a local Iraqi news group:

Azzaman, May 9, 2007

"Baghdad inhabitants say the presence of armed groups has intensified since the start of U.S. military operations to pacify the city more than two months ago.

More and more armed groups are springing up in Baghdad, they say, and restive quarters like Doura and Ghazaliya have turned into major insurgent strongholds.

The Ministry of Interior which plays a big hand in the current operations targeting armed and rebel groups in the city would not comment on reports on the escalation of the number of armed in the city.

But a ministry source, refusing to be named, said, 'The security forces are striking with a fist of iron all the hatcheries of armed groups in various areas (of Baghdad) and the provinces by capturing many of them every week.'

But Baghdad residents have different stories to tell.

Kadhem Abedsada who has been forced to flee al-Ghazaliya district, said security conditions have aggravated since the government began its security plan.

'I have never seen such a wide presence of armed groups before. Their hideouts dot al-Ghazaliya and they are breeding like mushroom.'

'They call themselves resistance but they kill and kidnap on identity cards and ask for massive ransoms,' Abedsada said."

Another story from the same newspaper:

Azzaman, May 13, 2007

The residents of Adhamiya have vowed to destroy the walls U.S. troops are constructing to separate Baghdad neighborhoods on sectarian grounds.

“We shall destroy the walls the notorious occupation is constructing and keep our city an integral part of Iraq,” a statement by a newly formed resistance group said.

The statement emailed to the newspaper, said the wall separating Adhamiya from the rest of Baghdad 'must be brought down' and this will be “achieved through the power and muscles of all the residents of Baghdad.”

The group, the Adhamiya National Youth, said U.S. troops have divided their neighborhood into two parts with aim of weakening its resistance.

'Those who constructed the wall realize that the attacks targeting Adhamiya from all sides are being carried out by the death squads which the occupation and Israeli intelligence have set up,' the statement said.

In another development, the inhabitants of Kadhimiya, a Shiite-dominated neighborhood have joined forces with the Sunni majority Adhamiya to have the pulled down.

The two neighborhoods are working to demonstrate that the two sects can tolerate each other and live peacefully together.

The neighborhoods and their elders are lobbying the parliament which recently passed a resolution demanding the destruction of the wall.

They are also mobilizing the inhabitants to stand firmly against U.S. plans to encircle Baghdad neighborhoods with concrete walls, urging the young to dismantle the existing ones."

And lasly this news item:

"Fuel shortages spark demonstrations

By Abdullah Ajel

Azzaman, May 13, 2007

Hundreds of farmers in the agricultural province of Wasit have demonstrated against lack of fuel for their agricultural machines and tools.

The farmers, who assembled at the mayor’s headquarters in the provincial capital Kut, said fuel shortages were preventing them from harvesting this year.

They raised placards and shouted slogans denouncing the government and the Oil Ministry for failing to make fuel available at a time the country sits on massive oil reserves.

Salman al-Awsi warned that the shortages, if not alleviated, will eventually lead to the destruction of this year’s grain produce.

Wasit is major wheat, barely and rice producer in the country.

Awsi said prices of fuel on the spot market were beyond many farmers’ reach. 'If we buy from the black market that means the costs of planting and harvesting will soar,' he said.

He said huge swathes of agricultural land planted with grains cannot be harvested because of lack of fuel.

'There are more than 6,000 families whose livelihood depends on having the crops harvested as soon as possible,' he said.

Iraq faces acute fuel shortages and its refineries which met domestic needs under the former regime of Saddam Hussein are working much below capacity, forcing the authorities to import huge volume to meet demand."

Obviously we are getting different news here. If one can put their bias aside for a brief period and read these 2 articles, it sounds like our news has reporting all wrong. Remember most reporting by U.S. news services are done by many reporters who do not have access to the people of Iraq. I don't want to influence your conclusions from the above two stories by my drawing conclusions and writing them here but I invite your comments, as it might inspire some dialogue.

To read more news items from this source ( click here.

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