New! Improved! 100% More Subjectivity!

The problem with seeing everything American through a distinctly French (or ex-Ba’athist) prism is that one is, almost by definition, absolved of any need for a connection to actual truth. After all, objective truth is only a societal construct if you’re French. Nor does one need ever re-examine one’s knee jerk anti-Americanism. Now that being anti-American is so 2002, you’d think some rationality would begin to seep into some folks.
Guess again!
Here’s the latest screed from everyone’s favorite Iraqi gurrrrrrrrl blog.
Bush must be proud today- two more ‘insurgents’ were shot dead in Ba’aquba: two terrorist sisters, one 12 years old and the other 15. They were shot by troops while gathering wood from a field… but nobody bothers to cover that. They are only two Iraqi girls in their teens who were brutally killed by occupation troops- so what? Bush’s covert two-hour visit to Baghdad International Airport is infinitely more important…
Now let’s just say that Riverbend’s vision is just a touch myopic if she thinks “nobody” has covered this. Since a U.S. soldier was killed in a mortar attack in Mosul the same day, just plug “Mosul,” “sisters,””Iraq,” “U.S.,” “killed,” and “wood” (the sisters were said to be gathering wood) into Google and then try and tell me that “nobody” bothered to cover it.
Yeah, honey, those girls were killed brutally alright, but we didn’t do it.
Even al-Jazeera doesn’t agree with Riverbend. Which really ought to make one pause. At least they offer two explanations. Riverbend can’t even see that there might be another explanation and no benefit of the doubt is ever proffered.

I came across this clarification from the CPA press folks and I reprint a portion of it here with their permission. They actually sent this to Riverbend, so she can’t say she wasn’t offered an alternative explanation. (This also goes to show the power of blogs if a press shop actually reads some of them).
“Coalition forces had nothing to do with the death of the two girls near Baqouba. The facts of the case are that at about 1620 on November 27, a US patrol encountered two men acting suspiciously in a field beside the road. The patrol chased the men, who escaped. The soldiers came upon the body of a young girl in the field, already dead. The men appear to have been digging a hole in preparation for burying her. The soldiers carried the body to the Baqouba General Hospital Morgue. At approximately 2245 the same evening, a joint Iraqi police/US patrol discovered the body of a second girl, which they also took to the Morgue. Police in Baqouba have opened an investigation. These appear to be cases of criminal murder that have nothing whatsoever to do with US forces.
This story was first reported by AFP [Agence France-Presse], then posted on the Al Jazeera English language website. After we conveyed the facts of the case above to those two organizations they corrected the report: AFP removed the original story from the wire and Al Jazeera rewrote the story to reflect the truth.”

This makes Riverbend more French than the French!
Now al-Jazeera (al-Jazeera!!) actually took down their original version and reposted a more truthful version. (Sorry, I don’t have the link to their original version). Now let’s just be up front and note that al-Jazeera is absolutely no friend of America. Doesn’t the fact that they rewrote their story offer the slightest pause for anyone?
I know better than to ask but…
Who would you bet has the correct version here — a citizen of a country which hasn’t had a free press in her lifetime and where rumor is the surest means of passing information, or — the explanation of officials of a government with a free press who will be relentlessly pilloried by that same press when they get it wrong?
I’m taking bets here on if Riverbend will offer so much as a head fake in the direction of objectivity.
Odds are 1,000:1. Anyone want in?
I know, it’s a sucker’s bet.



  1. gcotharn

    Any of you previous commenters want to continue to cry tears for Riverbend’s “difficult” life now?
    Want to make new excuses for her? Want to say “Gosh, its understandable how Riverbend might feel the way she does. You overbearing yahoos are not putting yourself in her shoes.”
    I can’t begin to muster the tones of righteousness and condecension and vapid pretense of those types of comments from some weeks ago. Ah, well, I’m writing like an asshole. Seriously, my heart goes out to so many people on all sides in Iraq. So many of the situations are so difficult. But, I’m not wearing a blindfold either. People like Riverbend are full of bull. Criticizing the Coalition Forces is totally legitimate, as long as the critic also acknowledges the incredible courage and achievements of those same forces, and the morality of their cause. They are human greatness in action- right before our eyes- acting in a historic and difficult cause.

  2. Al Maviva

    Jeebus Sean, don’t you know that it is a truly grievous insult in Islam to point out the bald-faced, propagandistic, libelous, outrageous lies of Ba’athist sympathizers during the holy days of Eid all Fittir? So much so that the sin even as a name – “Wat a’ Fisquing.” What next? Coalition violation of the traditional Ramadan truce, by standing there bleeding out during a raodside bombing? Inspiring teenage boys to immorally shake their hips in dance by dying in the street after a drive-by shooting? Arrgh. The insulting nerve of you infidel troops is… well, insultingly nervy.
    Embarassedly yours,
    Al Maviva
    Ps. I don’t think you need to Fisque her any longer. We all know Riverbend is, in an Arabic term even a Southy would understand, a’l eien Queunt.

  3. Scarab

    I’ve said it before….eventually we are going to find out that ‘Riverbend’ is one or more bored journalists, probably from the Guardian, playing Axis Sally for fun and future book deals.