I have never been to Iraq, or most places that I read about on the news. So all I can do is, while staying critical and sceptical while comparing sources, believe that news stories are based on something and are not just exaggerated propaganda. I do know that even as a kid I knew that the few times that a news item happened close to someone I, those people had to nuance and sometimes correct what had been said on the news. So I am quite sceptical most of the time, and still…
Yesterday I posted an article from the independent that describes some horrible problems in Fallujah, Iraq:
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.
I’ve read more dramatic articles about cancer and birth defects in Fallujah through the years, so I would not think about it being not true or be that sceptical at all.
But then I got a very interesting reaction from one of my FB-friends, someone who actually knows something about Iraq (he was there in 2002 with a Christian Peacemaker team from the US in full war-time), that reminded me to always remain sceptical:
The things that happened in Iraq are disgusting and i am definitely interested in radiation toxicity via u-238, but marines had extensive bases in and throughout Fallujah for 7+ years…..an extreme increase of cancer would be discovered among their population as well. Has it?—i personally don’t know. Also, in my time in Iraq in 2002 the big theme was the 300% increase in leukemia cases and birth defects in Iraq, including the areas northwest of Baghdad, like Fallujah. At the time it was blamed on DU ordinance from the gulf war of 1991. So when did these increases occur? In 2002 or 2012? The article comes across as a rehash of leftist propaganda—which i hate even more than the right-wing empire-driven propaganda. I hate it more because the suffering of the oppressed is plenty horrible enough. We don’t need to inflate it with unsubstantiated, half-ass studies claiming calamities never before seen in history. Let’s stick to the evils we know are true….and in the meantime i would love to see further investigation into radiation in Iraq. The dramatic claims thrown out every once in awhile, usually by democracy now or the Guardian or Independent, come across as dishonest and biased….which makes the skeptic not only doubt these articles…but also the already proven atrocities. What happened in Iraq is awful enough for any sane, compassionate person. If someone isn’t already convinced with available information….no amount of super-”Hiroshimas” will change that.
So the same problems did exist before 2004 already, which is not spoken about at all here, and it indeed looks like the same story with other details, which is indeed a bit fishy. Which makes me want to know what’s true here, and what’s exaggerated, and makes me doubt the news even more…
I’m tired of all those scare tactics on any side (left or right doesn’t matter). I’m tired of the illuminati, chemtrails, chips that are going to be implanted in my forehead, and weird stories about big evil, etc… that are so exaggerated that most people with some common sense dismiss them immediately. A further problem is that those extreme fringe versions of things that are real problems work as a vaccine: The false version makes it impossible for most readers to take the real version even serious through guilt-by-association fallacies. Speaking about vaccines, some anti-vaccine advocates are so crazy and spout so much nonsense that all critique on any vaccine will be dismissed by some people. But still it’s true that our youngest daughter did have problems from the heavy combined vaccine she received as a baby. which does not mean that all vaccines are evil…
So please, everyone, on every side, cease the #@é& propaganda, and stick to the facts, stick to honesty and journalistic integrity. Sensational scare tactics will in the end only do worse on every front.
(There’s a similar principle at work with how the extremists of the Westboro baptist church make christianity evil in the eyes of some, or with how femen ridiculises feminism…)
The second remark is about my friends last sentence, which reminds me of a parable of Jesus, in which the rich man, who’s suffering in the afterlife because de didn’t help the poor Lazarus, asks to be able to go back and warn his brothers, but the answer is no, since ‘if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, why would they listen to someone who came back from the dead’? I think the same principle is at work here: Any informed person knows that a lot of terrible things happened with the people of Iraq during the war, so if one does not care about that, why would they care about an exaggerated version?
Lies in propaganda serve no goal but more division, more distrust, and more disinformation.
Let’s always remain sceptical, work for peace among people, and reject the lies and propaganda from any site that just fuels hate and division. We’re all brothers and sisters, and the real enemy are not other human of flesh and blood, but Powers and Principalities, Systems and the lies with which they make enemies out of those who should be brothers!
Let’s fight injustice, work for justice, and erase the hate!