US Paid For Good Press

The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq, but officials characterized the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents’ misinformation.

In a statement, the command said the program included efforts, “customary in Iraq,” to purchase advertising and place clearly labeled opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers. But the statement suggested that the “information operations” program may have veered into a gray area where government contractors paid to have articles placed in Iraqi newspapers without explaining that the material came from the U.S. military and that Iraqi journalists were paid to write positive accounts.

The statement from Baghdad was the first official effort to explain the media initiative after three days of news reports describing efforts by the U.S. military to plant stories in Iraqi media under the guise of independent journalism.
(Source: Washington Post)

So, when the US military isn’t busy murdering foreign journalists, it’s subverting any base for a free press in Iraq. But this shouldn’t be surprising since bribery, mendacity and corruption are at the heart of the Republican party. They’re simply exporting those all-American principles to Iraq, making it into a wonderful democracy fit for US oil companies.

So… let’s see…

WMDs? Nope.
Chemical weapons? Nope, apart from the ones the US is using on civilians.
Peace? Well, George Bush said ‘Mission Accomplished’ on May 1st, 2003. If the current carnage in Iraq is his idea of job done, I’d hate to see his version of a war. And finally…
Democracy. Which doesn’t just mean holding elections, it means having a free and impartial media.

That’s nought out of four. Well done, Dubya! You sure are doing one helluva job there in Eyerak!