"The News Hour" and the Horrors of War

MID-EAST REALITIES - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 1 April 2003:
by Mark A. Bruzonsky
(He was Washington Representative of The World Jewish Congress from 1977 to 1984, and Special Assistant to Philip M. Klutznick (the only person to ever be President of both B'nai B'rith International and the World Jewish Congress, as well as U.S. Secretary of Commerce)  for over a decade.)

For years now the well-known PBS TV Program "The News Hour" has served as a kind of quasi-government interview show for the American establishment - top heavy with government officials, former government officials, friends, colleagues, and apologists.   Sponsored by big on-the-make on-the-take corporations, produced at the top by a group of 'liberal' pro-Israeli Jewish personalities -  Lester Crystal and Dan Werner the most prominent - "The News Hour" did its thing Monday evening as Marine Corps General Peter Pace, no less than the deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rushed from the nearby Pentagon to do his duty -- in this case to coverup and deceive.  And as usual for "The News Hour" this senior government official was greeted with smiles and pleasantries, softball questions, no serious counter-views, and certainly no challenging follow-up questions of any serious nature...well you get it by now.

Meanwhile, even the Washington Post, not to mention more tell-it-like-it-really-is foreign news organizations, were already beginning to report that the story put out by General Pace was simply not true -- based on actual eye-witness accounts.  Either General Pace had been lied to by his own commanders in the field, or he was purposefully out there attempting to lie and deceive the American public (the more likely case based on past precedent).  Meanwhile, shamefully, PBS, Jim Lehrer, Lester Crystal, and the quasi-government 'News Hour' program, did what their sponsors and their government want them to do, pay them to do, and reward them for doing with ever more access, more guests, more sponsorship, and more awards.

Oh yes, this particular coverup having failed due to the eye-witness reports, today the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs huried forward to make a half-hearted public apology for killing the civilians...but said nothing about why General Pace tried at first to cover it all up.  Meanwhile as well, true to form, 'The News Hour" this evening put on two like-minded "analysts" with another Pentagon official to talk about the relationship between the media and the military and about the cozy "embedding" policy.  They all agreed it was a really good thing, thanked the Pentagon for being so helpful, and competed to condemn Peter Arnett for courageously telling the truth from Baghdad (as of yesterday Arnett by the way now works for non-American news agencies).  [end Mark Bruzonsky editorial]

[I wonder if Mark B. will do a note on "The Charlie Rose Show"; one is badly needed. 
(If you turn off java scripting you can view Walter Miller's note on "Charley Rose" at http://www.waltermillerhomepage.com/novx1.htm )
Charlie Rose is a North Carolina native.  For 24 years Congressman Charlie Rose represented the tobacco industry of North Carolina as a member of the House Administration Committee, and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Tobacco!  Now we finally know "the rest of the story". ]
Here is the nut of the incident as it happened, followed by links to reporting which does NOT attempt to deny the horrors of war.  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-631639,00.html
Captain Johnson saw the four-wheel drive Toyota vehicle drive towards the American soldiers and twice radioed orders for warning shots to be fired at the van. When no shots were fired he shouted: "Stop him, Red 1, stop him!" causing the deadly burst of gunfire ... Captain Ronny Johnson [said] to his colleagues: "You just killed a family because you didn't  fire a warning shot soon enough".  [Actually 10 woman and children were      horribly killed.  One injured mother clung desperately to her bleeding  mutilated children as the body-bags were brought out.]
 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-628258,00.html US Marines turn fire on civiians at the bridge of death - Mark Franchetti.  This article includes a horrifying account of an ambush of the Marines by Iraqi forces defending Nasiriya.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0331-03.htm BAGHDAD - Twenty people, including 11 children, were killed when a nighttime missile attack struck a farm near Baghdad, relatives told AFP.

 http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=392161  Responsibility for the ordinance "can be easily verified and checked by the Americans if they choose to do so. It reads: 30003-704ASB 7492.  The letter "B" is scratched and could be an "H". This is believed to be the  serial number. It is followed by a further code which arms manufacturers usually refer to as the weapon's "Lot" number. It reads: MFR 96214 09. - Blood and bandages for the innocent -  By Robert Fisk in the Baghdad suburb of Shu'ale 30 March 2003

  http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=391460  Robert Fisk: Raw, devastating realities that  expose the truth about Basra 28 March 2003 (Photo)

 http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=391165  Robert Fisk: 'It was an outrage, an obscenity'
27 March 2003

 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=372767   Focus: Part one - The human cost - 'Does Tony have any idea what the flies are like that feed off the dead?'  By Robert Fisk26 January 2003

http://pilger.carlton.com/print/132858   Bringing aid to Basra - "With Basra, shame is now our signature, forged by Blair and Bush.  Having destroyed its water and power supplies, cut off food supply routes and having failed to crack its human defences, they are now preparing to lay siege to Iraq's second city which is more than 40 per cent children.