[T]hese days, men with guns are not Iraqi reporters’ only threat. Men with gavels are, too.
Under a broad new set of laws criminalizing speech that ridicules the government or its officials, some resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s penal code, roughly a dozen Iraqi journalists have been charged with offending public officials in the past year.
Currently, three journalists for a small newspaper in southeastern Iraq are being tried here for articles last year that accused a provincial governor, local judges and police officials of corruption. The journalists are accused of violating Paragraph 226 of the penal code, which makes anyone who “publicly insults” the government or public officials subject to up to seven years in prison.
On Sept. 7, the police sealed the offices of Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based satellite news channel, for what the government said was inflammatory reporting. And the Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least three Iraqi journalists have served time in prison for writing articles deemed criminally offensive.
But hey, at least we closed down Saddam’s old torture center Abu Ghraib. Eventually.
The Other Steve
Well you have to understand. When the media criticizes the government, they are giving aid and comfort to the terrorists.
So it’s justified to shut them down. Glenn Reynolds said so.
That’s what thousands of America soldiers fought and died for; to protect corrupt Iraqi politicians.
I think this is what Bush means by “they hate us for our freedom”.
Michelle Malkin is so excited by the criminalization of reporting that she became unanchored.
Andrew, are you serious?
Out with the old torture centers, in with the new torture centers.
Andrew is rarely serious.
More ado about nothing from the New York Times (and the Iraqi journo who wrote this piece) — just something for the moonbats who won’t read further than a headline to froth about.
Ask even the arrested Iraqis if they want to go back to Saddam’s rule. By the way, the female reporter was arrested, then released on bail (the charges must’ve been dropped, because the writer doesn’t print the outcome — we all know he would have, had she been found guilty) and the other two got suspended sentences, which is buried in the last few paragraphs (hey, this Iraqi learned well from the Times!), in the autonomous Kurdish region, where the new government holds little sway.
It’s hardly a devastating view of oppression of journalists in the new Iraq. It’s hardly the torture chambers or the firing squad they would’ve faced under Saddam for printing much less. Is it “our way?” Is it ideal? Of course not, but it’s a big improvement, as even the Iraqis admit.
When I first read the title of this post, I thought you had an epiphany. But it turned out to be the same old drivel. Are you saying all our soldiers died for nothing because Iraq has some bad laws on the books? Yes, they should be changed. You might have forgotten that this government was formed recently or that they are in the middle of an active insurgency. Why don’t you post something about the Marsh Arabs?
Come on. Do you really have to ask Tim that question? It ain’t exactly “fair and balanced” around here…
Time to reflect on Fleischer’s words. The last thing you want in these times when torture is being used to defend our freedom, is for people to be saying inflammatory things.
If reporters can’t be prudent enough to watch what they say, then they shall have to suffer the consequences.
Also, Andrew is not serious all the time? Who knew?
The Other Steve
Why can’t we hear about all the good things in Iraq?
When was the last time Tim talked about the wonderful things we are building over there? Like schools and hospitals.
You guys are sooooo predictable.
I bet the Iraqi Information Minister said the same thing. Leave it to Republicans to treat the Iraqi organ of the state as gospel. Meanwhile…
Freedom is slavery.
Yes, why aren’t we hearing about all the journalists who weren’t arrested?
(channeling Doug J)
Are you deliberately this obtuse or is it natural?
Wait? So, if an anti-Speech law is passed, but ill-enforced it’s ok? And the Iraqis who were arrested, the woman who was released on bail, that was fine so long as she wasn’t actually convicted? If you were a reporter, published a story critical of your local government, had a policeman come to your door to arrest you, was arraigned before a judge, and had to front bail money to get out, you’d be cool with that? So long as you didn’t actually go to jail? And the writer doesn’t pursue the story because “we all know he would have, if she’s been found guilty”, rather than, say, maybe she hasn’t had her day in court yet?
One more question about the Military Commission by Waterboard Act they passed yesterday.
Why is it that the Iraqis can live in down the street from car bombings and feel the need to embrace the Bill of Rights, but when Bush raises the terror alert level up a notch and tells us “Al Qauda wants to kill you and your family” the nation collectively shits itself and gives him whatever he wants? Why do Iraqis have bigger balls than we do?
It’s all about living in the desert ;^)
Not everyone is up to it.
Zinfab…your post and this topic reminds me of the Newsweek cover…all it’s International editions had the Taliban cover..what did the U.S. get? Annie Leibowitz.
Is because it’s too controversial for us, or too scary? Or are we just that shallow? See Trent Lott’s comments about most of us not caring about Iraq that much…and don’t they all look the same.
Wingnut boys, what happened to the Marsh Arabs was a freaking tragedy…so, now that we, the cavalry, have arrived to rescue the Iraqi people from tyranny…tryanny, little and large is again part of their lives, the tyranny of laws like this, the social tryanny that is new to the women of Iraq (their lives are diminished) and the tyranny of daily violence, torture and death…
What part of “Is it our way? Is it ideal? No.” is throwing you off?
But it sure is misleading for the Times to publish a lede saying journalists are being arrested, and then bury or not even mention that the charges were dropped or the person found innocent, that the sentences were suspended, or that they were in the Kurdish region. Again, to the moonbats who don’t read past the headline…
First of all, only lefties shit themselves when a terror alert is raised, and that’s only so they can whine about it. Second, Iraqis have bigger balls than you because they know what real oppression is. They lived through it under Saddam, and now they want something better.
BlogReeder and Mac have a good point:
What’s the big deal about some stupid laws about journalism?
I mean compared to being pulled out of your car and getting 45 power drill holes in your body because you’re a particular kind of Muslim.
Americans didn’t send their kids to Iraq to rescue the Iraqi people. They did it to avert a WMD threat that turned out to be nonexistant, and to avenge a 911 connection that never existed either.
Whenever the bonesmokers try to play the “world better off without Saddam” joker in the deck, throw down the truth. The truth is that the world is not better off, Iraq is not better off, and Americans are not better off. And even if they were, it wouldn’t justify the bullshit runup to this war.
It’s been elevated for five years. WTF are you talking about?
Completely agreed TZ…the whole fucking Iraq mess was desired, advised, “planned”, recommended by these yahoos for years. It was on their mind before they even rustled up Goober to front for them…it was on their mind from the moment Goober took office and even after someone CLEARLY NOT Saddam perpetrated tht 9/11, they moved on Iraq as soon as possible, after the soon to be neglected detour to Afghanistan.
It’s all horseshit…
Too bad we’re not able to give it to them.
Ask Zif — he brought it up.
Because Ppg hates Bush, he gets to speak The Truth for people he’s never met! What a deal! I wouldn’t trust that troll to do my 5-year-old’s math homework (granted, it’s from a gifted-and-talented program, so it’s no gimme), but he has the answer to world security issues. He’s arrogant-tastic!
Let’s see…torture, check. Detainment without charges, check. Corruption in gov’t, check. Highly polarized citizens, check.
Sounds like they’re really damn close to our gov’t system after all.
The truth is that the world is not better off, Iraq is not better off, and Americans are not better off.
The Times never buried anything. Where did you hear that the charges were dropped and where did you read that the person was found innocent?
With reports like that, who’s to say that her case isn’t locked in judical limbo? In which case, she’s lucky compared to others.
Oh, and you left a bit off that quote of yours further up,
It goes from Yellow (piss yourself) to Orange (piss yourself, but GO HORNS!) to Red (start pissing blood) as the election cycle progresses. So it does move.
How unfair. How biased. How come we never hear about the Iraqis who only get 15 drill holes? Huh?
Please have every candidate you support run on “We can’t do better than Saddam!” Please. Do it. Come on. Every one of them deserves your help. After all, you have The Truth on your side, right?
That’s a Republican Slogan isn’t it?
Mac…it isn’t “our” candidates that have created this clusterfuck…why should “we” have to do that, when it’s your GOP in power that has made the decisions (or not) that have created it.
What I find amazing is that you all seem to be unable to collate all the information. You refuse to acknowledge one fuck, forget about it, and then move on to refusing the next fuck up.
That should have read:
You refuse to acknowledge one fuck up, forget about it, and then move on to refusing to accept the next fuck up.
Ah, the soft bigotry of low expectations. I think even if we asked dead Iraqis, none would say they wanted to go back to Saddam’s rule.
Because you’re the only ones who think it! Duuuuuuuuuh. Just ask Ppg!
Yes, I know, Iraq should be Disneyland MidEast by now. I’ve heard it all before…
Finally some happy news out of Iraq. Reporters being jailed for not reporting happy news. With laws to back it up. Good stuff. Don’t know why the reporters would be bitching about that, they could have wound up in one of the neighborhood Islamic courts. Count your blessings.
How generous of you to offer advice to Dems.
Thanks anyway, Mac. We’ll call you if we can’t get ahold of Ann Coulter or maybe Jerry Falwell.
When I go to Disneyland, they great me with candy and flowers.
Jesus, what an ass.
Uh, which “you” are you referring to Mac…the majority of the country that thinks Iraq is Fubar?
Some people go to Disneyland for six days, others six weeks. I doubt anyone stays six months.
That’s a BRILLIANT idea. Make the color code university-specific. If they want people to pay attention to the color, then marry each color to a school! Here’s my suggestions:
Blue–“We’re at Michigan right now. Things seem wicked safe. Except when they travel to OSU”
Green–“We’re at level Tulane (mascot–Green wave, in N.O.). No bombs foreseen, no more flooding expected”
Yellow–“Running at Hawkeye at the moment. By the way, yellow is playing red Sat. nite. May have to change terror alert depending on who wins”
Orange–“Level UT. Of course, it’s the light-colored, gayish orange. Screw Vince”.
Red–“We’re at level Ohio Suc…er, I mean State. Since we’re all at freak-out, piss-pants, double-secret probation level, it’s only appropriate that OSU describes this best”
Suddenly, college football idiots like myself everywhere are flooding the DHS website. The terror “threat” is discussed daily. Bush accomplishes “constant fear mode” successfully. Why am I the only one who thinks this shit up?
Hey, if you think the majority thinks “Iraq can’t do better than Saddam,” then you should make those ads today. Get them running before it’s too late! What candidates want those ads? I’ll make the ad buys for you! Hurry!
The Other Steve
But how come we never hear the good news about getting 45 power drill holes in your body because you’re a particular kind of Muslim?
The Other Steve
Either we appoint GW Bush Governor of Iraq, or we let the Iraqi people choose their own government.
Either way, what’s this gotta do with me?
It was your brilliant slogan that’s the inspiration. I just thought I’d offer my services to get the Nutty Troll message out there in as many Congressional races as is humanly possible!
I’m just wondering why you’re backpedalling now.
God, you are dense…we SHOULD be doing better than Saddam you nitwit..
It’s the CO Q-10 you are taking, I think.
Once I got up to 90mg a day, I just started kicking ass.
I blame the liberal MSM.
If they didn’t have a deal with the terrorists to keep Fox News reporters out of the country, we’d see Chris Wallace interviewing Clinton from Sadr City.
Sounds like cheap air conditioning for the sternum and clavicle. As every good doctor knows, when your pores aren’t doing the job, help ’em out with a couple dozen new, much larger ones.
God knows they need these new holes, being its 115F over there. As I’ve said before, drill bit salesmen in Baghdad are making scratch hand over fist…
I’m not. You are going against the traffic.
Turn around, join the human race.
Or, not. Whatever.
But the opposite point of view is completely understandable, if you realize that it’s held by someone who thinks that America can’t do better than George W. Bush.
The Other Steve
Maybe if we had Corporate Sponsors?
Blue – Come alive with the Pepsi Generation
Green – Nothing runs like a Deere.
Yellow – Think Yellow Book
Orange – Save up to 50% on your phone bill! Try Vonage!
Blue – Your Business On Demand. IBM!
Red – Red Hat, the Open Source Leader
What do you mean, “should?” Are you another who thinks Iraq was better off with Saddam? Great — more contributions to Ppg’s ad campaign!
The Other Steve
Look. Mac Buckets can’t really help it. It’s who he is as a person.
It’s best just to ignore him, because reason or logic doesn’t work with him, and calling him names just feeds into his victimhood.
The Other Steve
You gotta give him credit. Even if he isn’t particularly insightful, original or creative.
He is consistent.
They’re actually speed holes. They make you run faster.
Mac’s totally on a kick right now. Expect for him to be shouting for at least the next two to three hours.
I’m waiting for the Iraqi interview that goes, “Is Iraq better without Saddam? Well, I can’t really say given the circumstances. But if you really held me feet to the fire, I’d have to say the US occupation is preferable. Then I’d say pretty much anything else you wanted me to.”
Oh you lefty dhimmis hand wringing over the little things about the president’s vision. We’re well along the Roadmap to Freedom and Democracy in Iraq. Here’s one little snapshot in time on jihadwatch.org which is probably just a little to the right of apostates like Malkin…
It’s all good. Sure, there may have been a few curves and bumps in the road since that report in April 05, but the 172nd Stryker Brigade now in a Baghdad oil spot reports an even number of posters for Sadr and Death to America. Balanced. Can’t wait to hear the new positive poll numbers coming from there.
Proper reporting will settle all of this. When you’re deadish, it matters a lot whether you were killed by a despot, or by an out of control insurgency and sectarian war with no end in sight.
Really, it matters.
Nine out of ten dead people agree.
Really, if more dead people would refrain from falling over when dead, it would make the rosy scenario reporting a lot easier.
Sounds to me like a Republican wet dream. What’s the problem?
I really do long for the days when Democrats were the idealists and Republicans were the realists. When the party of the left was the party of lofty hopes and dreams no one could honestly expect to achieve and the party of the right was the party of down to earth nuts and bolts that still left a man feeling wanting. Now we’ve got the party of fear and the party of being afraid. On one hand, the Republicans who tell us what they must protect us from. On the other hand, the Democrats who seem reluctant to protect us from the other party. We are in a civil war and neither side feels like it is worth fighting for. So we reluctantly choose the lesser of two evil – depending on our points of view – and merely pray that these dark days will pass quickly.
Actually, John, Abu Ghraib is back up and more energetic than ever, according to (I believe) the Washington Post — it’s just that it’s under new management, namely that of the new pro-Shiite governing tyranny. According to the article, the neighborhood is complaining about the screams coming out of the place.
For starters, the mental image created by that simile…