Patterico's Pontifications


Michelle Malkin’s Video Report on the “Destroyed” Mosques

Filed under: General,Media Bias,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:47 am

Michelle Malkin has a video report on the mosques that AP described as “destroyed.”

Her main point, I think, is to point out the pitfalls of “rumor-based reporting” in Iraq. My problem is with rumor-based reporting that pretends to be more, but really isn’t. Tell us what you know and what you don’t know, Big Media, and we’ll all be better off.

11 Responses to “Michelle Malkin’s Video Report on the “Destroyed” Mosques”

  1. Hurriya’s Mosques — Still Standing…

    Hat tip: Patterico…

    Bill's Bites (72c8fd)

  2. Hello, Jim.

    FWIW, I agree that rumor may have played a role in the Jamil Hussein saga. I reviewed the 61 AP/Jamil Hussein quotes posted by Curt at Flopping Aces, and then tracked down and read the underlying articles. After reading those articles, I think there are really only 50 unique incidents that can be sourced to Capt. Jamil Hussein because some of Curt’s list were duplicates, and a few had multiple reports by Jamil Hussein. However, regardless of how many reports there were, reading all the articles helped me to form some impressions:

    1. There seemed to be more Jamil Hussein reports of Sunni victims than Shiite victims, although I base that statement on the circumstances and neighborhoods in which the incidents occurred and not on a clear statement of the victim’s affiliation. Further, in Jamil Hussein’s last and most recent reports, he specifically noted Shiite attackers but I did not find any reports that expressly noted Sunni attackers – although that doesn’t mean there weren’t any, especially in cases with Shiite victims and unknown attackers.

    2. In general, the Sunni victim reports seemed more vague and lacked details when compared to the reports of attacks on Shiites, which usually listed names or occupations that might enable a person in the area to verify the incident.

    Based on these two observations – that there appear to be more reports of violence against Sunnis and/or by Shiites, and that the reports of violence against Sunnis were considerably more vague than other reports – reading the Jamil Hussein articles left me with the impression that reports of violence against Sunnis might be based on rumor.

    Having said that, I don’t doubt the authenticity of all the reports (although I think it’s possible some might have been exaggerated). Most of the Sunni victim cases occurred in areas patrolled by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior forces, forces that are thought to be Shiite-controlled and some of which are believed to commit atrocities against Sunnis. Thus, reports by Sunnis about atrocities in these areas might reflect a built-in Sunni bias but they would also be hard to verify through government and other sources if they did occur. While these incidents might be exaggerated, rumor might be the best or the only way to learn of about some of these incidents.

    DRJ (f4c219)

  3. Ok, Jim, do you want a comment?

    I am not at all impressed by the pictures of Iraqi soldiers that Michelle Malkin has posted. They all seem fat and out of shape. Careless in their dress and personal grooming. Barrack-room layabouts and not disciplined combat soldiers.

    nk (4d4a9d)

  4. Ok, Jim, do you want a comment?

    Not really. Just thought it was funny.

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  5. Okay.


    DRJ (f4c219)

  6. BTW I agree with Patterico on this issue, and I also agree that Jim Treacher posts good and often funny comments. I agree with NK, too. I guess that makes me the most agreeable person here.

    DRJ (f4c219)

  7. I guess that makes me the most agreeable person here.

    Does not!

    Jim Treacher (15574e)

  8. Thoughts from Omar at Pajamas Media regarding the events in the Iraqi Parliament today:

    The biggest argument was when a Sunni cleric MP harshly criticized what he called a policy to target only certain parts of Baghdad (apparently referring to Haifa street and Latifiyah), and said the troops were killing civilians. The MP told Maliki that “We’ve lost trust in you as a head of the state….” An uproar began with many shouting from their seats. The cleric continued his verbal attack and the speaker tried to silence him by telling him he exceeded his time limit. He wouldn’t stop. The speaker then shut off the cleric’s microphone.

    Maliki returned fire saying, “You in particular will regain your trust in this government when we send your file to a court of law. You talk about Latifiyah when you know, and everybody knows, that terrorists are right now holding 150 innocent citizens hostages in that city”. This direct threat was met by applause from the members of the UIA.

    The speaker (al-Mashhadani) didn’t like this response from Maliki and turned to the lawmakers and said “You applaud this? The Prime Minister is openly accusing one of your colleagues of being a terrorist and you applaud! This is unacceptable!

    The session descended into chaos with members in white and black turbans shouting at each other. The speaker lost his patience and screamed back “Enough of this sectarian speech making! You will set the streets on fire! How are we going to succeed if we’re divided like this?” We don’t know what happened later but it seems the situation escalated beyond that and pushed al-Mashhadani to cut the transmission.

    These fights inside the parliament always frighten me because they all too soon roll out of the Parliment and transform themselves into car bombs and tortured bodies. The weird and ironic finale to the whole argument we witnessed is that — after all the tension we saw on TV — , the state TV news line later reported that the parliament approved the Baghdad plan unanimously.

    Now it is quiet again. Too quiet.”

    Maybe the Iraqi Parliament knows something about al-Mashadani that we don’t but, according to this 11/28/06 AP/USA Today article, al-Mashadani was the name of the only named victim in the AP’s “6 Burning Sunnis” story and the tribal name of the other 5 Sunni victims:

    One witness said he and other people from the neighborhood took the six immolation victims to the Sunni cemetery near Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib suburb and buried them after the gunbattle. That witness said one of the victims was the Mustafa mosque muezzin or prayer caller, Ahmed al-Mashadani. He did not know the names of the five others, but said they were all members of the al-Mashadani tribe.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  9. Correction: The PJ Media article was by Mohammed, not Omar. My apologies.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  10. Another correction, maybe: This AP article says the Sunni who disagreed with al-Maliki in Parliament today was Sunni legislator and cleric Abdul-Nasser al-Janabi, not al-Mashadani. Curious.

    DRJ (e69ca7)

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