Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jammy Dodger round-up

Michelle Malkin did some digging on her recent visit to Baghdad. She was looking for confirmation of an AP story that was built on the testimony of an Iraqi policeman called Jamil Hussein. The story told of 4 mosques burnt down, 6 Sunnis set on fire and a total of 18 dead. Politically, the story had importance because of the timing; it occurred the day after Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad's main Shiite district and the Western press were pushing the line of a city gone completely out of control. It was another note in the crescendo that would climax with Get out, get out!!!

Malkin checks on what can be checked on, and the AP story just doesn't check out. She has photos of all four of the 'destroyed' mosques, with shots of the damage that actually occurred and an explanation as to how it occurred.

Lt. Col. Steven Miska, commander of the Dagger Brigade at Forward Operating Base Justice, states the obvious:

Part of it is, if you're relying on Iraqi reporters, well, what are their biases? What clans are they from and tribes? Why are they telling me this? What's his underlying motivation? And if you quote a police chief, well, those guys have underlying motivations, too . . .

I've gone out and found police chiefs on the street and said, 'What happened here?' Something just blew up and he told me, 'Well, U.S. airplanes just bombed this building.'

I said, 'What are you talking about? It was freakin' insurgent rockets that just hit the building, I picked them up on radar.' But he just told the reporter on the street that U.S. warplanes bombed the building and killed 13 people.

So, rumors on the street Iraqis will take at face value. Trying to get them to do investigations is like pulling teeth out of their head.
Curt at Flopping Aces (who started the investigation) has plenty to say, and there'll be video at Hot Air tomorrow.


wodge said...

The only mosque filmed in the video has a bloody great hole in the dome and was firebombed. Doesn't that constitute being 'destroyed'?
Meanwhile, she showed only still photos of the other mosques.

NoolaBeulah said...

The story was put out that four mosques had been burned down and worse: "Shiite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene."

This is the particular context of 200+ deaths in Sadr City the day before was inflammatory, to say the least. And none of it can be confirmed (a hole in the roof is not 'burned down').

I tried to read the posts you linked to, but the sarky under-graduate tone of pique was just too much for this weakened psyche.