News is victim of crises

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By Fatih Abdulsalam

Azzaman, June 26, 2014

Some governments fear the free flow of news when things look normal. One can imagine their fear and apprehension at time of war and critical crises.

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq more than 11 years ago, the Pentagon under former Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld saw the media holding opposite views as an enemy. Press centers and news channels came under attack under the guise of unintentional fire.

In the years since the 2003-U.S. invasion, more than 250 Iraqi journalists have been killed in Iraq. Nonetheless, none of these cases of murder were properly investigated and no perpetrator has been brought to justice.

Most of Iraqi journalists have been killed as they approached checkpoints and cordoned-off areas.

Today, in the chaos that is sweeping Iraq, the government wants to press its own views.

There is little or almost no coverage of displacements and people fleeing.

Iraqis are in need of impartial news that fairly and objectively reflect their social reality.

Senior politicians must work to preserve and safeguard social peace and not blow the horns of war.

The free flow of information is the lung through which the modern world breathes. This lung no one can suffocate and no coercive measures are going to stop it breathing.

The decision to suspend social networks based on the Internet usually backfires because users can always find a way to make their voice heard and also find a way to download news governments do not want them to read, see or listen to.

The press has suffered a great deal in Iraq, and specifically in the years since the 2003-U.S. invasion.

But we are certain that the birth of a new free press in Iraq is inevitable. Such a press will shake off years of dust that has been accumulating through distortions, forgeries, violations and fear.