November 10, 2004

Johann Hari: a liar or a fool?

Look at this article by Johann Hari, that appeared in The Independent. today. It's one of these "was I wrong to back the war?" kind of articles. It's mostly garbled and irrelevant but I think he is trying to say that he knows that most Iraqis want the war and most Iraqis want the attack on Fallujah and this is based on the fact that the resistance do not come from the majority Shi'a community and therefore the whole of the resistance must represent a minority. Now check this quote from the article:

"Yasser (I think he's one of Hari's Iraqi friends) then offers two crucial facts. First, there hasn't been a single Shia suicide bomber in Iraq so far. That tells you something about who is trying to destroy security and why. Second, there have been just three weeks this year when there were no suicide bombs in Iraq. They were the three weeks the US forces had Fallujah surrounded. Doesn't that suggest it is the base of the Sunni resistance? Doesn't that suggest it is right to deprive them of their base by force if necessary?"

Now does Hari really not know that the first suicide bombing against the invading American forces was by a Shi'a Muslim from Najaf called Ali Hammadi al-Namani? I've had to link this to a mention of him in the Guardian. as the Independent's. article about him is only available pay-per-view. Still I'm sure Hari could have stretched to that if he wanted to get his facts right but I don't think that was on his agenda. The other thing is, which three weeks was it when there were were no suicide bombings? It wasn't these last three weeks. In case Hari doesn't know, three Black Watch soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber just recently.

So there we have it. Hari was right all along and he knows it because of "two crucial facts" which were neither crucial nor facts.

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