Open letter to journalists following the Iraq war.
April 10, 2003
Dear Mr./Ms. Journalist,
Being that you are all so busy these days, and it might be hard to summarize
all the many lessons that were forthcoming from the war to free Iraq, I
thought I'd give you a hand and summarize them for you:
1. Arab sources lie spectacularly. As the now unavailable Iraqi Minister
of Information proved, reality and Arab information are only coincidentally
connected. So, the next time you cover the Israel-Palestinian conflict,
please don't report stories based only on Palestinian sources. This might
put into perspective the Jenin 'massacre', etc.
2. Arab tactics make it impossible to avoid collateral civilian damage.
The next time you are tempted to cite "excessive force" by Israeli forces,
or bemoan the long wait at Israeli checkpoints, remember this: the Arabs
use ambulances to carry weapons. They put suicide belts into cars with
pregnant women then have her cry for help at checkpoints. They put bomb
factories in schools and private homes. They use children as human shields.
They fire from apartment houses, encouraging forces to fire back.
3. When the Palestinians speak movingly about how they've suffered, and when
other Arabs talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict in terms of alleviating
injustice and suffering of the Palestinian people, please remember this:
The Arab world, and the Palestinians in particular, were against any attempt
to alleviate the true suffering of the Iraqi people under the mad man Saddam
Hussein. Whatever the Palestinians suffered pales in comparison to the
Iraqis. No one took their children away. No one put them in vats of acid.
No one held them in torture chambers. If the Arab world really did care
about their brethren, why were they against this war to free the Iraqis?
And if we draw the conclusion that they couldn't care less about each other,
what is their motive for hating Israel and trying to destroy her? Can it be
less noble? Can it be that they can't stand the idea of Jews in the
4. Except for a few reporters here and there, you were all totally wrong
about everything. Peter Jennings, New York Times reporters, Washington
Post, Los Angeles Times, you name it. The Wall Street Journal was the only
one that got it consistently right. There was no "quagmire." There was no
large number of civilian casualties, and no huge coalition casualties. It
wasn't a war about oil, but about liberation. The Iraqi's didn't put up a
stiff resistance. The Iraqis danced in the street and shouted: Thank You
Mr. Bush. Don't you think you should try a different profession, or at
least practice this one with a little more caution and humility when
reporting from the Middle East?
All the best,