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Daily Column
Iraq TV: Obama in Cairo, Dog-Eaten Corpses
Thursday Night News
06/04/2009 8:40 PM ET
By Daniel W. Smith and Yousif al-Timimi

President Obama’s goodwill address to Muslims of the world from Cairo University was an obvious big story, but it did not dominate coverage as much as one might have thought. All channels included it, played excerpts and had political analysts giving generally positive, but decidedly mixed analysis. A few examples are, “We (Arabs) should go for what Obama is offering. We are weak and in no position to argue," while another said, "Obama hasn't brought anything new to the table. It’s just a bubble that will hit the surface and then be gone.” Al-Baghdadiya highlighted negative remarks by Sadrist politicians. American-backed Al-Hurra Iraq was the only channel to really make it the single focal point of the night. Second was government-sponsored Al-Iraqiya.

Al-Sharqiya covered little else but the death of three people from Dorra, who had last been seen being arrested by Iraqi “counter terrorism forces.” Their bodies were found later in a field, reportedly bearing the marks of being tortured, shot, and “fed to the dogs.” Late at night, they gave a warning to put children to bed and showed some grizzly footage of the bodies in a morgue, with prominent dog bites. There was some discussion as to whether the bodies had just been fed on some by stray dogs, but there was more talk of it being part of the torture – said to be a tactic borrowed “from Americans” (think Abu-Graib photos). Al-Baghdadiya also covered it, but not with the same intensity. On Baghdad TV, MP Maha al-Dori said “In next few days, we will request the Minister of Human Rights to come to parliament to be questioned for the violent mistreatment of detainees.”

Different channels reported that five civilians were injured by an IED in Dora, and another IED targeted an American convoy in Yarmok, wounding several, as well as a car bomb in Mosul, killing one and wounding four. Al-Rafadain and Baghdad TV spent some time reporting that a sniper shot and killed a U.S. soldier in Karama, near Ramadi. The Sahwa leader of Hawija, outside Kirkuk, escaped assassination by an IED. Other IEDs were said to have targeted American convoys in both Hilla and Jalawla.

Also on Baghdad TV, it was reported that “Al-Maliki requested MPs to reduce their “statements of fury” about Kuwait." On the same channel, MP Qais al-Ammeri said “Not improving the Iraqi economy will affect the political and security situation in Iraq.”

Ahmed Chalabi was got some attention for holding several meetings in an attempt to bring back together all the parties previously part of the Aitilaff coalition.

The Iranian housing minister shown meeting with Karbala’s governor to discuss “a new rebuilding plan” of the city.

Comments on the Iraqi TV roundup are welcome at

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