Saturday, November 25, 2006

Who's Telling the Truth About the Burned Iraqi Mosques?

The so-called 'official' version from the US Army at Camp Victory in Iraq is that only one mosque was set on fire in the Hurriya district of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD — Contrary to recent media reporting that four mosques were burned in Hurriya, an Iraqi Army patrol investigating the area found only one mosque had been burned in the neighborhood...
[...]
An alleged attack on a fourth mosque remains unconfirmed. The patrol was also unable to confirm media reports that six Sunni civilians were allegedly dragged out of Friday prayers and burned to death. Neither Baghdad police nor Coalition forces have reports of any such incident.

While they try to blame this on 'media reporting', they forget to mention that Iraqi government sources originally made the claims:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gunmen bent on revenge burned mosques and homes in a Sunni enclave of Baghdad on Friday as Iraq's leaders pleaded for calm, a day after the worst bomb attack since the U.S. invasion.

Some 30 people were killed, police said, as suspected Shi'ite militiamen rampaged for hours, untroubled by a curfew enforced in the capital by U.S. and Iraqi forces after bombs killed 202 people in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City.

Four mosques and several houses were burned in a small Sunni part of the mainly Shi'ite Hurriya area in northwest Baghdad, Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Salem al-Zobaie told Reuters.

Remember the US military claiming that Pat Tillman was hit by enemy fire and that Jessica Lynch's rescue was a stunning feat which turned out to be a complete myth?

Right-wing bloggers are once again playing the CSI:Bloggerville game and are falling all over themselves to push this military press release as the final truth. When it comes to investigating military claims though for their worthiness, they've learned absolutely nothing, it seems. Anyone who believes that the US military always reports about what's really happening in Iraq just needs to go back over the archives since this war began to see how many times they've corrected their own pronouncements and covered up what's gone on.

In the absence of verifiable evidence like pictures from anyone who purports to know whether or not 4 mosques were actually burned, the best course is skepticism and that definitely includes being skeptical of so-called official reports from the US military.

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