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The Tribe in the Ivory Tower

The Tribe in the Ivory Tower

by Gabriele Zamparini

The genocide of the Iraqi people is completely ignored by most of the state-corporate media through a propaganda campaign of colossal proportion that sees at its centre John Sloboda’s Iraq Body Count [IBC]. Most of the intellectuals and activists who have built a career in the anti-war business remain silent when not defending and endorsing IBC and its propaganda campaign with preposterous arguments.

On September 9, the powerful and prestigious Financial Times gave us another piece of that propaganda campaign, “Iraq Body Count, a group that monitors Iraqi deaths, estimates that 70,000 Iraqis have been killed”

To fully understand the grotesque absurdity of this propaganda campaign and its genocidal effects, one has just to compare the fiction above with the reality published by Uruknet:

40,000 unidentified corpses buried in Najaf since the beginning of the US-led invasion
Middle East Online
September 9, 2007

An Iraqi official made known that from the beginning of the US-led invasion in 2003, 40,000 unidentified corpses have been buried in the holy city of Najaf.

Ahmed Di'aibil, the Najaf Governorate’s spokesperson, said, "the official count of the unidentified corpses buried in the cemetery Wadi Al-Salam (Valley of the Peace) exceeded 40,000".

Ahmed Di'aibil stated that every week up to 200 corpses were brought to Najaf, even though the number is declining.

The Najaf Governorate’s spokesperson added that all corpses are photographed and numbered and the place where the corpse is found is registered to allow an eventual identification by the families.

For the unforgivable sin to have asked two simple questions, ZNet’s Michael Albert thundered against this blogger but didn’t reply the questions.

Why ZNet is still accepting IBC as a reliable source to document the Iraqi carnage? The fact that ZNet published a few critical articles on IBC, far from being a justification is an aggravating circumstance if it then keeps offering its space to IBC propaganda, making the war mongers extremely happy.

IBC has been spreading its propaganda to the four corners of the planet, it’s been welcomed and celebrated by the war mongers, offered space and time by the propaganda apparatus of the mainstream media. It’s shocking it’s still accepted by the alternative media as a serious source to inform about the carnage in Iraq. Shamefully shocking!

The other question I asked Albert was about ZNet’s frequent contributor Munir Chalabi’s article, Political Observations on Sectarianism in Iraq, published originally on ZNet on 24 January 2007. I started to ask ZNet and Chalabi where those numbers come from in my 30 January 2007 piece, Dissent this! - Part 1: ZNet between numbers and parallels. I reiterated this question on 17 July 2007 in Once upon a time in Iraq… A Nobel Peace Prize for the Anglo-American Peacekeepers?, on 20 August 2007 in Alice in Wonderland – ZNet and the art of numbers , on 28 August 2007 in The tip of the iceberg and finally again on 5 September 2007 in IBC and Munir Chalabi's numbers: ZNet and Michael Albert's reply

As for the IBC question, even this other question went unanswered and hidden by a smokescreen of preposterous excuses.

But the clap of thunder didn’t pass unnoticed by the tribe.

Alex Doherty of UKWatch, a website associated with ZNet, accused me of "9/11 conspiracies" and "absurd campaign against Z net"

Another friend from the ZNet’s tribe wrote me:

“I think the best thing you could do at this point is basically apologize in a public way to Albert and also to others to whom you have written... for wasting our time.”

When I asked if I could publish our exchange, he replied:

“No - please don't publish. I said what I had to say; it was private. And it's over.”

So the apologies to Albert should be “public” but the debate on these two important questions that affect millions of people must remain “private”. This is tribalism, not radicalism.

I have published on my blog some criticism I received from one of my readers. That criticism was very welcomed and very different from the arrogance and ignorance of the tribe.

But it’s not over. People in Iraq are still the victims of mass murdering and ethnic cleansing while Iraq Body Count is still spreading its shameful propaganda, welcomed by the warmongers, the state-corporate media and large sectors of the so-called anti-war movement and the alternative media. It’s not over because the victors’ art of rewriting history is shown all over, from the New York Times to ZNet.

As I wrote to that friend who invited me to “apologize in a public way to Albert and also to others” for “wasting our time”:

Albert, you and others have had very strong words against me for asking questions and pointing out an objective situation that’s been going on for too long. When will Albert, you and the others start to focus on the issues I pointed out? Zamparini was an easy target. Will you now be able to speak out about IBC and its pernicious propaganda? It’s maybe time to take a look outside the Ivory Tower.


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