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Wishing Ill on Americans
Last uploaded : Saturday 3rd Jul 2004 at 00:29
Contributed by : The Editor


Breaking News: ?The Evening Standard? newspaper in London reports tonight that Robert Fisk of ?The Independent? has ?outed? the Judge in charge of the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Special Tribunal had asked the media to protect his anonymity and indeed all Western international news agencies had complied but, according to the Standard, ?Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, defended his decision..? because Arab papers had recognised and identified the judge. It added that the judge is now in fear for his life after being named?.





When I first took on Editorship of this magazine I did not expect to be spending a good deal of my time criticising my fellow journalists. If one looks at my earlier writings one will see that my wrath was directed towards societal trends and government policies in the UK, Israel and North America.

However, in recent years the relentless tide of anti-Americanism and Israel-loathing that daily infests the British papers, radio and television has given me cause for concern. The immense problems of the African continent and of Central and South America get little attention compared to the near-obsessive zeal for covering Israel?s deeds and misdeeds.

This week my fellow journalist Robert Fisk of ?The Independent? has reported on the Transfer of Power in Iraq. He refers to it as a potential ?Alice in Wonderland,? a view to which he is entitled. His dreams for Iraq, however, are scary and border on perilous to the safety of Coalition forces and civilian personnel. After reading his front-page spread on 29 June I exclaimed ?This is treason!? and here is why:

Fisk says that it is a ?savage irony? that Prime Minister Allawi referred to terror cells as ?the enemies of the people? on Iraq?s Independence Day when in fact the enemies seem to be the 3,000-strong US Embassy, 160,000 foreign troops and what British media like to call ?mercenaries? (civilian workers) . Fisk says that the demand by Allawi that violent ?foreign mercenaries? leave Iraq is remarkable because he ought to be demanding the departure of those in Western clothes. Most significantly, Fisk says that Allawi, whom he compares to other American satraps, would be an overnight hero to Iraqis if he demanded the departure of all foreign forces. In Fisk?s words, ?The Americans would be finished.?

What to me borders on journalistic treachery is the suggestion that ?the insurgency has a life of its own.? Fisk actually expresses the hope that ?If it can continue to maintain an independence struggle for nationalists within the Sunni Muslim areas ? then the Sunnis may also claim that they have the right to form Iraq?s first independent, post-American government.? Is he saying we should hope for more power to the elbows of the insurgents, no matter how many coalition troops and civilians are slaughtered in the melee?

Fisk also expresses relief that the new Iraqi flag resembles the old one, not, in his words ?the strange blue and white banner? the Americans had devised earlier this year. The hue and cry in the British and European media about the ?Israeli colours? of the new flag could be heard across oceans, matched only by the fury over the US Embassy in Iraq. This embassy issue has become a kind of fixation for the anti-war movement, along with fears of ?Israeli infiltrators? trying to buy property in the new Iraq.

On the night of handover the BBC and various other news providers were glum. Some even looked grief-stricken. The handshake at the Istanbul NATO Conference between Tony Blair and George Bush was a source of ridicule.

Following on Fisk?s sentiments were those of Yasmin Alibhai Brown, who is a charming and ubiquitous presence on British television. In the ?Evening Standard? of 29 June she expressed a certain degree of shame at ?savouring American failure in Iraq.? She said that in the past she and the anti-war movement had wanted ?more chaos, more shocks? to teach the Coalition a lesson. She goes on to say that she is once again ?hoping that this handover process proves a failure because it has been orchestrated by the Americans.?

How heartwarming that Britain seems to be brimming with influential media figures who loathe the United States. Would they be working, or even alive, had America failed to rescue blood-soaked, warring Europe from Hitler? There has been a lot wrong with the Iraq war but, as John Gibson pointed out tonight on Fox News, America-bashing translates as Israel-bashing. He was reflecting on the fury with which Prince Charles has expressed himself when discussing American support for Israel.

As a professional journalist I am deeply troubled that ?The Independent? has a front-page account of Iraqi handover that not only departs from reportage but condemns to ruin Britain?s staunchest ally.

Freedom of the press is great and Robert Fisk wins as many awards as I take antacids. But as an American-born lass about to celebrate my own Independence Day, I say to him, ?Don?t tread on me.?


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