Let's move to a more recent example of what I can only call institutionalized racism in U.S. reporting of Iraq. I have to thank reader Andrew Gorman for this gem, a January Associated Press report about the killing of an Iraqi prisoner under interrogation by U.S. Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr.Let us recall, to put this in perspective, that AP stories about suicide bombings are often accompanied by pictues of grieving family members, the bomber's grieving family members that is, not the victim's. See here and here. And what does Fisk mean by "racism"? Is that the only explanation that comes to his mind for sympathy for one's own country's soldiers?
Welshofer, it was reported in court, had stuffed Iraqi Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush headfirst into a sleeping bag and sat on his chest, an action that -- not surprising -- caused the general to expire. The military jury ordered a reprimand for Welshofer, a forfeiture of $6,000 of his salary and confinement to barracks for 60 days. But what caught my eye was the sympathetic detail.
Welshofer's wife's Barbara, the AP told us, "testified that she was worried about providing for their three children if her husband was sentenced to prison. " 'I love him more for fighting this,' she said, tears welling up in her eyes. 'He's always said that you need to do the right thing, and sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing to do.' "
But the real scandal about these reports is we're not told anything about the general's family. Didn't he have a wife? I imagine the tears were "welling up in her eyes" when she was told her husband had been done to death. Didn't the general have children? Or parents? Or any loved ones who "fought back tears" when told of this vile deed? Not in the AP report he didn't. Mowhoush comes across as an object, a dehumanized creature that wouldn't let the Americans "break the back" of the insurgency after being stuffed headfirst into a sleeping bag.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The following has him particularly exercised: