web counter Media Lies: A human interest story?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

A human interest story?

Is that the angle they were looking for in this sympathetic look at an "insurgent" that fought in Fallujah? I'm amazed this story would get any press at all. Abu Mohammed (can't they come up with any original names over there?) speaks proudly of his 13-year-old son, who died in Fallujah.
"He was only 13, but he was the equal of a thousand men," Abu Mohammed said, in words that served as an epitaph.

His hard face, framed in short, graying hair, softened. A glimmer passed over his eyes. He leaned his short, wiry body forward.

"He had more guts than me, a hundred times more," the father said. "He was still a child, but he was a hero."
What was his son doing?
Ahmed joined the war against U.S. troops early, becoming a fighter at 12. Residents said that in his first operation in March, he hung out at the mayor's office for days, selling candy on the street and joking with American soldiers. Once his presence became familiar, he managed to leave a homemade bomb at the building, which detonated. Soon after, he joined his father as a fighter.
Can you imagine an American father speaking with pride of his 12-year-old son who befriended troops only to booby-trap their building and then died fighting them later?
In a conversation that lasted hours, he rejected the idea of muqawima , the Arabic word for resistance. The word is too secular. It is a jihad, he said, and the men who fight are mujahedeen, obligated by religion to fight non-Muslim occupiers.

"Until the day of judgment, there will be jihad," Abu Mohammed said. "If something happened in Lebanon, I would find a bridge to cross and go there to fight." In a calm voice, he described his obligation as matter of fact, a self-evident truth, and he quoted the Quran to illustrate his point: "And slay them wherever you catch them."
In Mohammed's world there are only two possibilities. Either he dies. Or you do.

Which would you choose?

UPDATE: Cori Dauber didn't like it any more than I did.