Monday, May 16, 2005

The Article Heard 'Round the World

afghani_angryThis story is totally unbelievable.

After reading the Newsweek article in question, I had a hard enough time believing that a security guard actually flushed a Koran down the toilet in front of a detainee. The physics of the thing (that's a powerful toilet!) as well as the ridiculousness of that yielding any good information ("If you don't tell me what I want, you're next!") defied belief.

Then, the MSM alerts me to the power of that one Newsweek article to spark riots in Afghanistan. Now, Newsweek claims the article was incorrect and apologizes for publishing it (claiming their anonymous informant changed his story) according to the Associated Press:

In an apology to readers this week, Newsweek acknowledged errors in a story alleging U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Quran. The accusations, which the magazine vowed to re-examine, spawned protests in Afghanistan that left 15 dead and scores injured.

Responding to harsh criticism from Muslim leaders worldwide, the Pentagon promised to investigate the charges and pinned the deadly clashes on Newsweek for what it described as "irresponsible" reporting.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the apology.
Whose fantasy is this? Does the US government really believe for a moment that anti-US sentiment can spring up in the matter of less than a week because of one magazine's article? Or does the US believe that all detainee abuse scandals are baseless despite the obvious witnesses to the contrary? Better yet, how many protesters actually read the Newsweek article?


afghani_messageIs it possible that they hated us before the Newsweek article, and this was just the spark that lit the powder keg? Could all of those civilian targets bombed upset them so much? Could it have been the years of US subversion during the Cold War and implicit support of Bin Laden? Could it be the fact we are losing the public relations war so handily?

It is hardly likely it's current administration policy that's causing all of the fuss, right?

And people wonder how the intelligence community could have gotten such faulty intelligence with this administration in office.

Poor analysis is obviously the answer. But the Afghani people could have told you that.

Update 5/17/2005: The lunacy continues with Deborah Pryce (R - OH) issuing the following statement about Newsweek (nevermind the fact that the conservative magazine cleared the article with the Pentagon before publishing it):
"From the NY Times to CBS and now Newsweek, we've seen sensationalism trump truth in the haste to snag a headline and sell more papers, but this time the cost of ignoring journalistic standards has gone too far: seventeen people are dead and multinational relationships that have taken years to foster are jeopardized."

"Newsweek has apologized and retracted the story, but retraction and regrets will not atone for the reckless behavior of an irresponsible reporter and an overzealous publication. How many more lives have to be sacrificed until credibility can be returned to our newsrooms?"

"I urge the magazine and members of the media to return to the journalistic integrity that the public deserves, and I encourage every Congressional office to cancel their subscription to Newsweek until accountability is restored."
Will this insanity ever end? I guess it's easier to face one minor issue rather than decades of neglect and imperialism. Poor Newsweek...whipping boy for America's failed policies over the last fifty years.

Updated 5/26/2005: I guess the Newsweek article really was off-base?
The US military says it has identified five incidents in which the Koran was mishandled by American personnel at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.


At 9:11 AM GMT-5, Blogger budjesmuhyawkar said...

This is so insane. As I read your post I initially was mad at Newsweek for starting a riot, persay, but then you made some goo dpoints. I cannot believe that the article was the only cause. I agree that it may have been the "straw that broke the camel's bakc" but is certainly not the cause of frustration. Anyway, keep posting these interesting blogs!!!


At 7:26 AM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

budjesmuhyawkar, I am glad you found the post helpful. It is ridiculous how often the MSM panders to the political right and in situations like this one, just plain and simple, get it wrong.


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