The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another day, another mass grave

Although I've noted the recent right-wing push (and that's putting it mildly) to demand that the media start writing about all of 'the good stuff' that's happening in Iraq, I haven't been posting stories about the daily discoveries of Iraqis assassinated in what is widely referred to as sectarian violence, since the same righties insist that the term civil war not be used.

BAGHDAD police found the bodies of 14 men who had been shot, execution-style, in the head, a police source said.

Some were also blindfolded. The identities of the men found in the Hay al-Adil district in the mainly Sunni west of the Iraqi capital were unclear.

US and Iraqi officials say dozens of people are being killed daily in sectarian violence that has increased since the bombing of a major Shiite shrine a month ago in Samarra.

(That's the entirety of the article, by the way.)

As more than one blogger has pointed out, the demands of the neo-fascists fail one very basic test, which I'll refer to as "The Other Foot Test" (it shot to prominence with Bush v Gore). Just as a thought experiment, let's imagine that authorities were uncovering evidence of about fifteen murders a day in post-Katrina New Orleans. Now let's say that much of the media attention was focused on the rebuilding of homes and schools instead of the violence. Does anyone believe that the nation's reactionaries would be applauding journalists' high-minded coverage of 'the good stuff'? Of course not.

While I don't mention New Orleans to add a racial component, it is undeniably a suitable comparison in terms of a large-scale disaster-- or 'federal reconstruction effort,' if you prefer-- that's received criticism for the government's response. Why not just pick a random American city and ask yourself if the right would support headlines celebrating the opening of a new school on the same day that fourteen bodies had been discovered. And coverage of municipal elections the next day, when another fourteen bodies were discovered. It not only defies common sense, but makes political gain the only possible explanation.