Thursday, January 19, 2006

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Civil War Looms; Media Yawns

It would appear that the Shia have reneged on the possibility of changing the constitution, which was the only reason that many Sunni were persuaded to vote in the recent elections.

This could lead to a total melt down in Sunni Shia relations.

Does the media take an interest?

apparently not

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Civil War Looms; Media Yawns: "he has described the agreement to allow changes to the constitution as a key element in keeping the political process moving forward. 'Thanks to last-minute changes, including a new procedure for considering amendments to the constitution,' he said on the eve of the December vote, 'the revised constitution was endorsed by Iraq's largest Sunni party. Sunnis voted in large numbers for the first time. They joined the political process. And by doing so, they reject the violence of the Saddamists and rejectionists. Through hard work and compromise, Iraqis adopted the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world.'

Now it is clear that the Shiites were just saying what the Bush administration wanted to hear; they never meant it and never intended to follow through. 'We will stop anyone who tries to change the Constitution,' said al-Hakim yesterday.

This belligerent stance could easily drive Iraqi Sunnis (in the words of today's New York Times) 'into the arms of radical Sunni groups in neighboring lands' and 'leave the Shiites even more dependent than they are now on Iran and American troops.' Sounds like a recipe for endless civil war -- and a foreign policy debacle of unimaginable proportions for America.

But, despite this looming disaster, with the exception of the Times' powerful editorial, the mainstream media are giving this major development hardly any play. Even the New York Times has its news story on al-Hakim's statements on page A-10 -- and at the very bottom of the page at that. In the Washington Post, the story appears on A-14, while the Los Angeles Times and USA Today do not cover the story at all! And a LexisNexis search didn't yield a single mention of the story on any of the broadcast or cable news shows. So the match that could ignite an all-out civil war in Iraq was just lit, and the U.S. media can barely muster a yawn."

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