May 14, 2008

Girl of 8 used as 'suicide' bomber - and other tales the corporate media wishes were true.

Girl of 8 used as 'suicide' bomber.

To the average consumer of the corporate-media's wares, headlines such as this serve to assure them of the evil nature of the forces that we are currently confronting. In spite of all our blunders, and in spite of the seemingly complicated issues that surround the War on Terror, here is a clear example of the evil that the Western forces of good are clumsily attempting to counter.

On the other hand, for those of us who have retained the lessons that the Western corporate media have so painfully bestowed on us, particularly the advanced level courses we have been forced to endure over the last seven years, the nature of the above noted headline served to alert us that it was time to carefully inspect the bottom of our shoes.

Unfortunately, the pass rate for the above noted curriculum appears to be dreadfully low, and nowhere does the failure rate seem more abysmal than among those who make up the ranks of the global media system.

The story attached to the above noted headline consists of the following: an eight year old girl was strapped with explosives, she approached an Iraqi army captain at a checkpoint, the explosives were detonated by remote control. The editors ensure that the word suicide appears in quotes, as if to sneeringly confirm to it's consumers that, "yes - you are well acquainted with the type of Islamic scum we're talking about here".

A quick glance of the article in question assures us that the stench emanating from the headline is likely an accurate indicator of the articles content - the first warning sign arises as a result of the timing between the incident and the publication of the story.

While the news is attributed to the Guardian in some articles, the
first mention of an eight year old bomber appears in the Metro UK, a free UK daily. The story was captured by Google news around four o'clock in the afternoon London time, or six o'clock in the evening Baghdad time. While there is no mention of what time the incident took place in Baghdad, it is clear that it took place on Wednesday - hours ahead of the publication.

While we can be sure that the crime scene investigators of the coalition forces are getting lots of practice when it comes to bombings - it's difficult to believe that they were really able to determine that the bomb was detonated via remote control from the small pieces of bomb, human flesh, bone, debris, etc., in time for the evening editions.

Of course, the biggest indicator that we are being offered a spoonful of the substance the corporate media has served us so often before is the sources. The sources, in no particular order, consist of the following: an Iraqi Army spokesman, US soldiers, the military, and Iraqi Army Lieutenant Ahmed Ali.

These are the same entities that provide the lions share of information on the day to day occurrences in Iraq and the greater war on terror that is reported by the ever vigilant employees of the corporate media bosses. In much the same way that these employees will drift between stints as journalists, to government PR and corporate PR - their bosses will drift between stints as VP, CEO, or Member of the board, and elected official or political advisor. You see, the employees are very aware of the types of sources that their bosses would approve of -they share an ideology that lends to this perspective - if they didn't, then they would likely never have risen to the positions they hold within the corporate media establishment.

The biggest problem that would have been noted by far too few readers of this story, is its similarity with a story that emerged from the same sources at the beginning of February. In that particular version of the how low can the Islamic scum we're fighting go genre, the media quickly informed us that the terrorists had strapped explosives to two women with Down Syndrome. While it's too early to tell exactly how far this particular tale of Islamic evil will travel, the Down Syndrome suicide bomber version had legs. ABC, MSNBC, the London Times, and thousands of other arms of the media system covered the event. In fact, a
Google search of the term will still get you a whole page of accounts describing how the forces of darkness strapped bombs to the women, and persuaded them to blow themselves and 91 to 99 other people up.

There was one small problem with the story, and the problem was apparently so small that it didn't seem to warrant much in the way of retractions - it wasn't true. The
credible information that was deemed reliable by the system's editors originally came from one Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, the chief Iraqi military commander in Baghdad, who had determined that "photos of the women's heads showed they had Down syndrome".

It would appear that today's 8 year old suicide bomber story suffers from the same deficiency as its Down Syndrome kin. The details of the story have been quietly morphing as the day has progressed: the 8 year old girl
turned into a 16 year old girl whose bomb was detonated by remote control. Now it would appear that the girl is aging quickly, now between 16 and 18, and it would also appear that there was no remote control, and the stories are beginning to drop the info on the original error altogether - so just another crazy suicide bomber blowing herself up to hook up with the 72 virgins and..... hmm, that doesn't seem to work - oh well.

While a little digging at the muck that has once again been deposited at our feet reveals the truth, you can rest assured that the headlines will not scream out Suicide bomber NOT 8 year old girl - millions of corporate media consumers will never see a retraction, or make the connection when they see the revised story. They will simply go through life believing that those individuals in Iraq who resist foreign occupation, and sometimes are willing to sacrifice there own lives to that end, strap remote controlled bombs to 8 year old girls.

In ending, a response to those who would excuse stories such as those above as being understandable errors based on information from reliable sources. If the Iraqi army and government officials constitute reliable sources, then I would ask you to examine the
events that occurred in the village of Ishaqi in March 2006. These events did not scream across the pages of the corporate press, in this case the words of Iraqi police and government officials were never enough for the corporate media's consumers to hear of it - but unlike this case, questions remain, and silence persists.


Anonymous said...

Not sure what your point is. Do you have a problem about the word suicide, the age of the girl or the fact that a whole lot of people were killed? Or do you just think these things shouldn't be reported at all?

Anonymous said...

"While we can be sure that the crime scene investigators of the coalition forces are getting lots of practice when it comes to bombings - it's difficult to believe that they were really able to determine that the bomb was detonated via remote control from the small pieces of bomb, human flesh, bone, debris, etc., in time for the evening editions."

I'm no explosive expert. Are you?

Caitlin said...

I really appreciate the idea of questioning sources and motivations, however that raid was covered in mainstream media:

Anonymous said...

enjoy your v&

Anonymous said...

Ah, so your belief that it was a 16 year old female makes it acceptable. You don't say no suicide bombing took place, you just belittle the story based on the age of the suicide bomber.

quality work there...

Anonymous said...

This is an important article. Responses so far have been rather negative but as your modus operandi is criticism I expect you can deal with it.

To me the misreporing of a story is *always* relevant. Yes whether the girl is 8 or 16 is well worth discussing.

Why are many of these comments so outraged in tone? There is no appeasment to terrorists in this article. Have so many of you succumbed to this mass hysteria that makes it impossible to take a stance other than high pitched moral outrage whether or not the facts are reported correctly?

Keep searching for the holes in the story. Keep questioning how the story is framed. When we read about those "A-rabs" there is almost always an agenda thrust upon us and the facts rarely stand in the way of a good story.

Anonymous said...

The intelligence community stated there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, (if you ignore all the rhetoric as described per Bush), Bush sold it to Congress, they swallowed it and issued the blank check for war, corperate amerika to this day hand in hand with Bush attack the rights given to the amerikan citizen in the name of the war on terror (nevermind any oath taken before office or threat of impeachment), most amerikans won't bother to watch the news anymore unless they are politically motivated (yeah brainwashed, kinda like jahovah witnesses, like owning an SUV and watching football, paying taxes with the expectation you are safe), then again, that just might just describe Bush's one nation under gawd thing... Cops are killing intelligence officers in Huston streets, claiming forged credentials, if you are a black guy in NYC, run, no wait, just kill yourself... Tasers, (non lethal weapons) are having stories related to lethal conclusions, yet stories are suppressed due to legal threats, no mention of a possible intollerant genetic diversity to 50,000V .5A discovered after the fact, honesty would be key, but it no longer exists here. And you expect to have valid information provided by press that is politically motivated news distribution corperation? Lay off the medical pot dude, wake up... A super power finds its end in the lack of ability to control itself, and we're here folks...

Nabeel Ahmed said...

I think this article is important and I dont agree with all the negative commentary here. There is a deeper message here. Media's responsibility is to report facts and let the public decide and make up their minds. We live in a world thats dividing us and inconsistency and commercialism in our media, doesnt really help. By questioning authorities and media on their reporting, we are only asking them to stay true to their core.

Its time to unite these two worlds (east and west) and this type of inaccurate reporting only deepens the wounds and sets us back.

Good job on the article.

Masrhon said...

i agree with this article. we should start policing more and more these corporate powers. if alot of people with a lot of money are allowed to be legally equivalent to a single person under the institution of a corporation, then a regular citizen will never have power to compete against a corporation, in any field: mainstream media, currency, etc.

Anonymous said...

The comments are realy amazing, seems to be a lot of news crowd is reading it :-) oh well most don't even read it

I guess the content and truth of news is getting less and less important, people want to talk about something. It's entertainment and not information in most cases.

Anonymous said...

The point is that if the media are prepared to lie about one aspect of the story then you can never be sure about the rest of the 'facts' they report. The cumulative effect of media misrepresentation is a climate of mistrust and poor information. All anyone wants to know is the facts - what actually happened, not what some sensationalist media hack changes that into.

And yes - it does matter whether the bomber was an 8-year old or a 16-year old - the sense of outrage generated by the younger age increases the condemnation. If the child was only 8 then it can hardly be considered suicide as they do not have the mental capacity to make such a decision - hence it becomes murder.

Mark Warnes

Durham said...

I wonder at your own motivations in condemning the 'Corporate' media. You denounce the sources as being unbiased, but what can the source be? Reporters don't have access to the bomb site, the DNA, the firsthand witnesses that the Army does. What does the 'Corporate' media benefit from this type of story? Selling more papers?

Do you actually believe that John Smith would pass over a newspaper unless it had a headline like 'Girl of 8 used..'?

And why do we need a bombsquad to tell us the girl was young and had explosives strapped to herself? There are eyewitnesses, there are cameras, it doesn't take an exhaustive search of her dental records with her school records and DOB to see the facts...

A person was strapped with explosives and sent to kill others with themselves. That person was a young female. The people who sent her to do this are alive and well and still sending more people out to die for them.


Jason said...

Hilarious. A minor disagreement in some media lead you to come to yet another grand Chomskyan conclusion.

Simple suspicion is no where near enough to draw such conclusion. I ask you to provide evidence that actually supports what you say.

The so-called evidence you've provide can be explain in so many different ways depending on a person's point of view.

Jason said...

By the way, I actually like Noam Chomsky.

Leonard said...

I don't know why I'm bothering, because you're all going to come to your own conclusions anyway.

Still. I'm stubborn.

The point of this article--and I admit that it wasn't very obvious--was that the media should VERIFY ITS SOURCES.

A group of commenters are complaining: "So what if they got some details wrong, it's still a story about a suicide bombing and the guys behind it are still at work."

Would we even be talking about this if the original story had been told? Would we be talking about an eighteen year old girl who blew herself up infront of an Iraqi commander? Would that story make the news at all, let alone make headlines?

No. We wouldn't. That story doesn't make it through. The western media audience doesn't care about grown adults who choose to blow themselves up. The large mass of western society doesn't care about Iraqi soldiers killed in the line of duty either.

But if the story instead plucks on the heart strings by saying that an innocent little girl was loaded down with explosives and sent to talk to a man then got blown to smithereens in the process... well THAT, my friends, is news. That's wilful destruction of innocence. That's what half of our greatest works of literature focus on.

Now that we know the truth though, the media is not going to recant their story. Joe Average is going to go about his business thinking that anti-personnel bombing has reached some new lows. The failure to clean up their own messes, to take accountability for their mistakes: that is the biggest problem with the media. That is the point of the article.

Why should we trust the media when they act like that guy you know from high school, or that idiot at work, or your annoying uncle that does nothing but tell made-up stories?

What have they done to earn our trust?

Anonymous said...

This is bullshit, I see them identifying remote controls and bombs all the time on CSI and other shows.

Anonymous said...

Do you understand that the "news agencies" of the moslems are run as the propaganda wing of the terrorists? Whatever Al Jazeera started out as, it is now completly controlled by the Moslem Brotherhood. Nothing whatever comes out of Gaza that is not vetted by Hamas, you read nothing about the west bank that Fatah doesn't want you to read. Describe to your audience the journalistic integrity of the Arab News.

Worse, many news agencies are now influenced by the Saudis. Those who write articles praising the Sauds and Islam are invited to princely parties, or paid honorariums to speak at multicultural and interfaith events. You see this even in America, but especially in Europe.

This is of course very nicely handled, no little man shows up at your doorstep with a bag of cash. An aquaintance was given a $5000 savings bond on the birth of his first child by a fellow writer who was related to the Sauds.

For that matter, do YOU get such gifts and priviliges? I haven't read enough of your blog to know if you are a professional journalist or not. But there is plenty of Arab money around for pliant newspeople. The Saudis have a saying, "When our new friends find out how good we are to our old friends, my, what good friends our new friends will be."

I recall the story in question, whatever the headline was, the article described the child as being remotely detonated. Headlines have to grab the attention in only a few words, and are always somewhat innacurate.

Seriously, if you want to see a real propaganda network, go right to the Arab News, the real source. Then you will have something to complain about.

David Cognito said...

An important reminder that we all need to be sceptical of the 'facts' fed to us by the media.

The difference between an 8-year old being used as a sacrificial bomb carrier and a religiously-deluded 16-18 year old is *huge*. Both are obscene, but they are not equivalent.

It's astonishing that so many people in these comments cannot grasp that difference.

Brad said...

Thank you very much Criminoboy!

I got on the Tube this morning and saw the Metro headline screaming at me and said to myself: you gotta be fuckin' kidding me.

The headline really did say "8 year old" and the print in the article said, "according to sources, the bomber was 16-18."

Dear commenters - do you not see a PROBLEM with that? (I guess journalism really *is* dead.)

Of course, The Metro is a trashy rag, but the story has spread all over the internet and commenters everywhere are outraged. The story seems to have appeared without criticism or amend on major news sites. That's why I began wondering about my sanity. So thanks Criminoboy!

Fadking said...

Questioning the validity of a news story by using other "news" stories is counter productive and hilariously contradictory--when your thesis is "news is bad".

It's pretty obvious that both sides here are missing an objective source and that we are now in that blurry arena known as rhetoric.

Stop with the faux intellectualism and find out what the fuck actually happened.

Anonymous said...

Link to story on Metro:

And sane comments!

Anonymous said...

Please people when something is wrong say it "Yes it is wrong!". And read the article again. The word is about demonization one side with false story about "8 years old bombers" so that propaganda is like a German propaganda in WW2.
Showing them as a less worth people so that you can feel better when you see that on TV how US army killing them on the street. I am in Europe and America before "Bush" for us was supersweet country. Now you are nothing more than Aggressor. Go and make a research on internet by yourself about Fallujah and how many civilian is killed there. If 9/11 is happen again "I hope will not." Oprah will make another show with question. Why they are hate us so much? Evil is food for more evil.


Anton Vowl said...

I'm astonished that so many people think it's OK to lie about facts and not change them in the light of new information.

Yes, suicide bombers are bad, mmkay. But telling lies is bad as well. Isn't it? Or does anything go if it suits a certain agenda?

Anonymous said...

Lesbian suicide bombers go to hell.

Anonymous said...

We all know islamists wouldn't use their children in such a cynical and disgusting way. I'm just amazed the media bothered to report it at all this time.