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Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

Dahr Jamail, one of the few independent and unembedded American journalists in Iraq, presented eye witness accounts and photos of the Iraqi conflict when he dialogued with students and community members on Wendesday at UCSC's Music Center.
Click on image for a larger version

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Image from Dahr Jamail: "Dispatches from Iraq" flyer

On Wednesday, October 29th, independent and unembedded journalist Dahr Jamial provided fresh outlooks on the War in Iraq that are either ignored or hidden by most mainstream American media outlets. As a special correspondant for Flashpoints, the BBC, and Democracy Now!, Jamail has gained the attention of those willing to listen about true accounts experienced during the
current War in Iraq.

Starting with the testimony of an Iraqi P.O.W., Jamail displayed the appalling modes of the treatment of Iraqi P.O.W.s by American soldiers through visceral descriptions and tortured accounts. According to Jamail's report, the interviewed Iraqi P.O.W. agrees that Saddam Hussein indeed was a brutal dictator who tortured his citizens, but he pleads, "why did they
put Saddam to trial , but not the Americans to
trial?". The P.O.W. goes on to say, " I wish I was killed by him, rather than being alive with the Americans. After this journey of torture and suffering, what else can I think?". Jamail futher points out that unlike Hussein,the Americans desecrated Islam and its holy text, the Koran and Americans aren't governed by a dictator.

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Music center as Jamail speaks

According to Jamail, sanctions on medical supplies entering Iraq over the past years have only made the situation worse as they are short of supplies and abundant in patients. Yet, an Iraqi doctor said that the current medical reaction in Iraq, "is worse now than before the sanctions". What's more, the oil-abundant nation now has 5 mile lines of citizens waiting for gas. Power and water are also in short supply. According to a testimony be a leading Iraqi theorist, the 25 year rebuilding and reconciliation process in the now ravaged Iraq can only begin when American soldiers evacuate the country.

After his report, a portion of a film was shown of the present state of the city of Fallujah; a city the size of Cincinati that was ransacked during the military's occupation of Iraq. "Caught in the Crossfire: The Untold Story of Fallujah" exhibited
the deplorable condition in this once beautiful city. Images of a distraught cityscape and of tormented people flooded the screen during the roughly 15 minutes it was shown. After seeing the film clip, an exhilarated World War II vet exclaimed that everyone everywhere should watch that film to get true essence of the current Iraqi conflict.

Following the screening, Jamail fielded questions from the audience. Among the questions was one asked by a mother requesting for Jamail to explain the current war in Iraq to her 8-year old son. In response, Jamail expertly stated:

"Its a result of the military being put in a position by the people that they take their orders from, the U.S. government. And according to the Constitution of this country, that military is supposed to be used to protect this country. That's why we have the Department of DEFENSE, not the Department of OFFENSE. The military is supposed to be used as a last result, but in this instance, they used it to attack the country and later Fallujah in this way. They're following orders from above,even military orders may disagree with these orders, but being in the military, they have to follow them...".

Jamail also fielded concerns about depleted uranium and the current state of the Iraqi constitution, among others.


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Simon, American studies/film major from England that I chatted with.

In between transitions, Jamail encouraged audience members to talk to each about what they saw and felt at various points of the evening. I happened to be seated next to an amiable newly arrived British exchange student named Simon. Simon commented on the corporation induced partiality of American news sources in comparison to the more reliable British Broadcasting Corporation. When I asked him what his initial reaction to the news of the US invasion of Iraq, Simon answered,

"I wasn't surprised, in the slightest. To a certain degree, I knew that we [British] would follow. The invasion of Afghanistan was slightly more legitimate. Iraq just seemed to have been tacked on at the end, and to me its like, what next? They've managed to somehow extend it to the point that there is no withdrawl date with according to a lot of people is an illegal war. If they could do that, what would they have to do to justify what it is they do next".

Click on image for a larger version

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Simon, American studies/film major from England that I chatted with.

Although the images and testimonies showed by Jamail were inherently pessemistic, the dialogue ended on a high note, as he implored the audience to combat this or any injustice that comes before us, noting Indymedia as something positive one could do with their time. I for one think it is.
 
 


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Comments

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

hmm, i didn't mean to have pictures of english guy twice. the other one was supposed to be a closer shot of dahr jamail. but whatever.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

pix are not working for me with the firefox browser. when i click on for larger version, i get a 404 error page.

:(
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

hey, did anyone record the talk by dahr? if so, please share it on here!
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

photos aren't working with an explore browser either. :-(
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

well, whatever you did, thanks, now i CAN see the pix!
;)
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

We are aware of the problem with media mirroring, and we are working on it. Until it's totally fixed, you might have to wait up to an hour after submitting a story for the media to appear.

Thanks for your patience everyone.

Daniel P dannyp at indypgh dot org
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

hey chinatown, thanks sharing the details of the evening. that's nice that dahr gave people the time and encouragement to speak with the people sitting next to them. It is also good to hear Simon's perspective on the UK Corporate Media (BBC) and US Corporate Media. ...of course go to www.indymedia.org.uk and get a feel for the Indymedia kollectives in the UK. that's cool that dhar mentioned indymedia.... 'personal' blogs and indymedia both require a dedication of decent time and energy... dhar puts time into a blog. as more and more people are getting blogs (www.wordpress.org), the intersection of blogs and indymedia should be an increasingly useful/reliable tactic of sharing information in a decentralized network.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

Great Post!
Wasn't able to make it to the screening, but it was really nice reading about it.
Thanks!
 

Oh, he really looks unbiased

A journalist who wears a Palestinian kaffeyih. The soul of unbiased reporting.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

MaxBanker points out that Dahr wears a keffiyah, and says he's biased. I'd invite MaxBanker to check out ANY of the mainstream news channels, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, whatwever one you choose, and see how many of the anchors have n AmeriKKKan Flag lapel pin on.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

"the Americans desecrated Islam and its holy text, the Koran and Americans aren't governed by a dictator."

Oh yeah, he didn't desecrate it at all... [/sarcasm] anywho...

"see how many of the anchors have n AmeriKKKan Flag lapel pin on."

You mean the mainstream media that reported on the incidents at Abu Ghraib, the marine shooting the dying soldiers, the op-ed pieces about how the war is hopeless?

Everything is biased, but this fellow speaking reports for BBC as the article states, and BBC is a state owned media agency, owned by a state that has soldiers in Iraq! So hell, the invalidity of your own statement is revealed in the main post of this statement!

"That's why we have the Department of DEFENSE, not the Department of OFFENSE."

not quite correct. We had a Department of WAR that was changed to a Department of Defense because the last few conflicts we've engaged in have not been WARs (that would require congressional approval) but actions undertaken by the president - the name change was to make it easier for a president to utilize the military without congressional approval.

For example, Vietnam was never officially a war, but a police action - and neither Iraq nor Afghanistan are officially wars either.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

I would like to thank Debra Ellis for bringing Dahr to UCSC. Dahr is one of the few unembedded, independent reporters in Iraq. He constantly risks his safety to bring us information from Iraq. There is a great deal the Iraqi people would like us in America to know. Our main stream media does a terrible job as most of us already know. Anyone interested in Dahr's amazing information and pictures should go to his site dahrjamailiraq.com . The movie he showed that evening was a must see by all people. "Caught in the Crossfire, The Untold Story of Falluja" This is about the real unreported story of the Iraq War. You can buy a copy at www.conceptionmedia.net. I recommend it.
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

I call for everyone who opposes the war go to Iraq and post their reports on this site!!! I mean EVERYONE who opposes the war!
 

Re: Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Visits UCSC

"I call for everyone who opposes the war go to Iraq and post their reports on this site!!! I mean EVERYONE who opposes the war!"

Does that mean that everyone who supports the war has already gone? ;)
 

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