Friday, October 13, 2006
The NUJ is rightly demanding the prosecution of those involved. A staggering number of journalists have been killed in Iraq: 22 this year alone, 24 last year, 19 in 2004 and 12 in 2003. The occupiers, having deliberately attacked reporters in the Palestine Hotel, exhibit a murderous propensity toward independent journalists. Blunkett's explicit call for the bombing of al-Jazeera, (and whatever is in the al-Jazeera memo) highlight this. Giuliana Sgrena was lucky to survive (and that too involved a cover-up). Because these deaths make up only a small fraction of the total deaths in Iraq doesn't make them trivial. There is an explicit attempt to regulate the kinds of information coming in and going out of Iraq by killing journalists which (yes, Mr Blunkett) is indeed a war crime, besides everything else that it is.
If we ever start prosecuting the crimes of this war, the 'war on terror', I fear it will take some decades. And, like their old friend Saddam, the culprits will be so defiant about it, so full of affronted dignity.