Greg Mitchell's Pressing Issues blog confirms what I first suspected when I saw the gruesome headlines about 'Mentally Disabled Women Bombers" in Iraq:
So, it turns out on the following day, that the evidence for the mentally disabled part was that one of the alleged bombers' head recovered after the blast was deformed, suggesting Down's syndrome. Now the AP admits that the severed head may have merely been deformed by the blast (duh). Also, McClatchy's crack Baghdad bureau now reports that Iraqi officials "have made similar claims in the past" about mentally crippled bombers and a police official told them "that authorities were still investigating whether the explosion at the second market might have come from a bomb hidden in a cage or a box of eggs."Problem is, this PR damage control tactic nearly always works, at least in the short term. And as we all know, the follow up story is always buried (or never run).
The real damage is done in the longer term, to the media's credibility, and to the Iraqi "leaders" credibility. Think Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.
And yet the media complain that circulation numbers are falling??? Puh-lease! They barely even touch upon the REAL stories!
Personally, as soon as I saw this headline, I doubted it so strongly that I didn't even bother reading the full article. I no longer trust the media, or any supposed "authorities" in Iraq, or anyone in Washington either, for that matter.
To my mind, Iraq was always been a War of Spin, and the real "enemy" being targeted by the likes of Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney has not been Al Quaeda, or the Sunnis, or the Shi'ites, but you and me. The goal has always been to take control of the country and plunder its oil. While Iraqi insurgents may be able to hinder progress towards that goal for some time, the people who really stand in the way of the long-term agenda are you and me, the Western voters.
This is the lesson that rightwing power crazies like Cheney took home from Vietnam. In their twisted little minds, the USA would surely have won in Vietnam (eventually) if only the US public had maintained their support (for as long as it took). I mean, how can a shitty little country like Vietnam or Iraq possibly stand up to the might and power of the greatest military machine the world has ever known, right?
So the war in Iraq has really been a war for control of our own minds. This is how far the art of political spin has developed. "We invent out own realities," as the neocons boasted.
Are we going to let them keep getting away with it?
It's time the Western media stopped lending credibility to Iraqi "leaders" who in reality are only self-serving power pimps. Otherwise we can only assume that both groups - Western media outlets and their Iraqi information sources - share a common agenda with their neoconservative friends in Washington.
NB: The image above shows the corpses of Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay Hussein. Are we to assume that they too were suffering from Down's syndrome? If so, were they really such a threat as Tim Blair and his friends suggested?
UPDATE: The Murdoch media perpetuates the story:
If, as some observers believe, the women might not have been handicapped, then they were evil and insane, as opposed to intellectually disabled.The Australian newspaper claims this "diabolical tactic" is a good excuse to increase body searches of Iraqi women. Yeah, so let's start doing body searches of every Iraqi woman who walks the street, shall we? Maybe we should target the mentally ill as well? That will win a lot more hearts and minds, won't it?
What a bloody stupid idea.