The Bronx Blogger

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

CNN and Other Media Report on Anti-US Demonstrations in Bagdhad, But They Ignore Large Anti-Terrorist Demonstrations

Arthur Chrenkoff is a Polish immigrant in Australia who has a very interesting weblog called Chrenkoff. He frequently compiles a round-up of under-reported news items from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yesterday, April 19th, he posted a report from Haider Ajina, who is an Iraqi-born American living in California. Mr. Ajina writes about a poll conducted by the Iraqi newspaper Almidhar, which shows strong support for the U.S. coalition troops in Iraq.

Here is Mr. Ajina's account of Iraqi public opinion and how U.S. media characterizes it:

Most of us read, heard and saw the medias report of the April 9th demonstrations in Baghdad. Most of the U.S. media portrayed it as a massive anti American demonstration in the streets of Iraq. I noticed, however, from Iraqi Arabic newspapers that most the demonstrations were against terrorism & calling for SaddamÂ’s trial & hanging (all these signs were in Arabic). I called my father in Baghdad to confirm this and he confirmed it. My father then confirmed that Al Sadr had asked his followers to demonstrate for the withdrawal of foreign troops, he also said that this group was very small and almost insignificant compared to the rest who were calling for SaddamÂ’s trial & hanging and those against terrorism. My father said the Iraqi media reported the number like this 'about 200,000 demonstrators of which 8,000-10,000 were Al-Sadr & Sunni supporters' (strange bed fellows). He also said that when he listened to the Iraqi elected officials (on live T.V.) in the assembly, that every one (every one including those Sunnis initially opposed to the elections), every man and woman assembly member, reiterated the importance of foreign and specifically U.S. troops staying in Iraq till Iraq is ready to take over its own security. Most of them expressed their thanks for the troops being there and freeing Iraqis from Saddam. This I did not read, hear or see in any U.S. mainstream media outlet.

These are the people Iraq elected, asking us to stay and thanking us. The poll shows only 12% want us to leave at once. This makes a complete mockery of the mainstream media coverage of the demonstrations. As my wife told me when she heard the coverage on CNN: 'Haider you are going to get mad when you hear this', and I am still mad. Forgive me for rehashing this point. I feel it really needs pointing out. Iraqis are grateful for what we did and continue to be grateful for us being there.

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