Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,
Insomnia
insomnia

Do your job bravely, defend the freedom of the press, reject antisemitism... get beaten by US soldiers.

One of the lesser known aspects of this war has been overt antisemitism by the Kuwaiti government which the US government -- not wishing to rock the boat -- has apparently accepted. The US military has given several Jewish reporters permission to report on the war, only to have the Kuwaitis refuse to accredit the journalists unless they refuse to report for the Israeli media.

That's what happened to Boaz Bizmuth and Dan Scemama -- two Israeli reporters who were denied proper credentials by the Kuwaitis, but who were apparently given permission by the US military to be embedded with the military. As shown in the links above, there have been a few stories written about this Kuwaiti antisemitism, but no real response.

When the war started, Boaz and Dan took off in a Jeep with two Portuguese reporters, Luis Castro and Victor Silva... sharing the ride and following the US military convoy into Iraq.

The four of them followed the US convoy far into Iraq, but were told by US military personnel that they had to go back because Boaz and Dan -- the Israelis -- didn't have the proper Kuwaiti press accreditation -- the accreditation they were denied due to the Kuwaiti government's antisemitism.

Obviously, they had built a friendship with Luis Castro and Victor Silva, however, because Luis and Victor refused to leave, and -- more specifically -- refused to leave Boaz and Dan, who they obviously felt had every right to do their job without being discriminated against.

Boaz, Dan, Luis, and Victor, frustrated from the whole experience, spent Wednesday night somewhere near An Najaf, sleeping next to a convoy of US tanks... only to wake up at gunpoint, surrounded by US military police, who pointed their guns at them.

They were immediately accused of being terrorists and spies, despite their objections, and were held at gunpoint. The Americans seized their cameras and car keys, not allowing them to speak to each other, and not providing them with food.

"What particularly upset me was the behavior of the numerous American soldiers... Not far from us, around 100 Iraqi prisoners were held. The US soldiers never stopped insulting the prisoners. And, if the Iraqis went into the desert to relieve themselves, the American soldiers laughed out loud and photographed them. This was a terrible degradation for them. I justifiably identified my plight with that of the Iraqi prisoners," said Dan Scemama.

After about twelve hours of this, one of the Portuguese journalists requested that they be allowed to use their phone to call home. Instead, both Luis Castro and Victor Silva were brutally beaten by US soldiers. Luis was knocked down and kicked repeatedly, which broke several of his ribs. After the beating, they were all detained for another 36 more hours without food, at which point all four were flown in a helicopter back to Kuwait, where Luis was hospitalized as a result of the beating.

"Those were the longest 48 hours of my life", said Dan Scemama. "The American soldiers treated us like dogs. They said we were terrorists and spies and treated us as such ... in spite of our explanations they threatened us for hours with their weapons."

In response, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Lapan said the journalists were "unilaterals" who "showed up on the battlefield and posed a security threat to forces there.... We don't have any indication they were mistreated, but we continue to look into it."

For more details on this story, please see the following articles:
News.com.au - Australia
Haaretz - Israel
LUSA - Portugal
CNN - Germany

Perhaps someone can explain why CNN Germany is covering this story, but CNN domestic isn't? All the truth that's safe to print?! Apparently, our US media sources are also embedded. I will not bother to mention which parts are embedded where, but the conclusion seem obvious...
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