The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Right Wing Attacks Zakaria For Stating Facts About Ethnic Cleansing In Iraq

Right Wing Attacks Zakaria For Stating Facts About Ethnic Cleansing In Iraq

On ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson on Wednesday, Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria said that fears of genocide in Iraq after an American withdrawal are misplaced because large-scale ethnic cleansing has already occurred:

One of the dirty little secrets about Iraq is that Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed. It’s sad to say, but the American Army has presided over the largest ethnic cleansing in the world since the Balkans. When people say bad things are going to happen if we leave, bad things have already happened. Where were you for the last four years?

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, one of the architects of Bush’s escalation plan, attacked Zakaria’s fact-based assertion. “You are really not describing what’s happening in Iraq. I mean, you’re in the past, to be quite frank about it,” said Keane before claiming the “surge” is working.

Keane’s response to Zakaria has been heralded by the right wing. NewsBusters championed the “rebuke.” The Media Research Center, NewsBuster’s parent organization, approvingly reprinted the post in a cyber alert. The Washington Times’ Greg Pierce highlighted the exchange today.

None of Keane’s supporters note, however, that Zakaria is correct on the facts when he says “Iraq has increasingly been ethnically cleansed.”

Since the initial invasion of Iraq, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have left their homes, with roughly 2.2 million internally displaced while more than 2 million have fled to neighbouring states. Bush’s escalation, which Keane calls “very very encouraging,” has actually increased the pace of ethnic cleansing.

As the Center for American Progress’ Brian Katulis and Anita Sharma write today, the situation in Iraq now comprises “the biggest refugee crisis in the middle east since 1948.” But you won’t learn that reading right-wing diatribes against Zakaria.


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