Reuters Suggests US Military Inquiry on Ishaqi a Whitewash

The headline reads 'US probe of Ishaqi killings no surprise for Iraqis.' You might have thought the headline and accompanying article were from Al-Jazeera. But no, it's Reuters that wrote the headline that, dripping with skepticism, suggests that the US military inquiry that cleared American soldiers from wrongdoing in connection with the killing of civilians at Ishaqi was a whitewash. That same cynicism persists throughout the article. Consider these excerpts:

  • "Isa Khalaf doesn't want cash from the U.S. troops he says massacred his relatives in a March raid. He wants an explanation he may never get now that a U.S. probe has cleared them of any wrongdoing."
  • "The U.S. investigation that cleared soldiers of any misconduct in Ishaqi may have allowed the soldiers to move on with their lives. But the farming town will be haunted by memories of the bloodshed."
  • "Some of the victims were teachers. So villagers built a school at the site of the attack to honor their memory. It's therapy for some but others are still looking for protection from any future American operations."
  • "'Our government will just leave us to the mercy of American soldiers,' said Dhiya Ahmed."

"Protection from" US operations? Left "to the mercy of American soldiers"? Count on Reuters not to point out that it was US operations that freed Iraq from the depravations of Saddam Hussein, and now give Iraq a real shot at democracy. Instead, Reuters portrays civilian casualites not as the accidents, or at worst aberrations, that they are, but virtually as US policy in Iraq.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.