Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finally, someone asks about Saudi militia support in Iraq!

Atrios catches a hopeful story indicating enclaves of journalists still exist in the nation's news media.

Listening to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Joe Lieberman and the other war advocates inflate the Iranian role in Iraq has been frustrating. Another nation bordering Iraq is also involved in supporting militias hostile to US forces; Saudi Arabia.

The press almost never asks a challenging follow-up question to Iranian-induced paranoia: "Should the United States also care about Saudi Arabian support for Sunni militias?"

Editor and Publisher highlights a journalism outbreak at the LA Times. The Times lays out the facts that would stir a chorus if we still had an active press corps:

Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined
Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says.
BAGHDAD — Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality, said the senior U.S. officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity. It is apparently the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency.

He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.

The situation has left the U.S. military in the awkward position of battling an enemy whose top source of foreign fighters is a key ally that at best has not been able to prevent its citizens from undertaking bloody attacks in Iraq, and at worst shares complicity in sending extremists to commit attacks against U.S. forces, Iraqi civilians and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
No wonder the Bush-Cheney Command run such a secretive government when the facts are so at odds with their warmaking logic. Expect Lieberman to somehow blame US citizens for the Saudi role in violence against American troops and Iraqis.

A nation that can't have a rationale discussion cannot behave responsibly. The journalists need to forcefully re-assert their role and continue to provide reports such as this from the LA Times. The journalists need to prevail over the hucksters, cowards, and whores who have so wrecked American journalism.

This LA Times story shows there is still hope for American journalism, after all.

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