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Sat

13

Dec

2008

Planet P. Cockburn
Saturday, 13 December 2008 22:59
by Gabriele Zamparini

If you happen to live on Planet Earth, where a single country, Iraq, has been the main focus of "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" - to use Martin Luther King Jr.'s words - for the past two decades, you may be interested to know what's happening in one of the most fascinating celestial bodies of the parallel universe of the mass-media.

Planet P. Cockburn is particularly interesting to the curious observer, because of its elliptical orbit around both state-corporate media and the alternative ones and because of its influence on people and events.

Appeared in the Counterpunch Galaxy, Total Defeat for U.S. in Iraq - It's All Spelled Out in Unpublicized Agreement, dazzles as a star: "America's bid to act as the world's only super-power and to establish quasi-colonial control of Iraq, an attempt which began with the invasion of 2003, has ended in failure."

As on its twin planet J. Steele of the Gardian Galaxy, on Planet Cockburn the U.S.'s "moment in Iraq is coming to an end"; a suicidal Corporate America, after investing billions of dollars in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, building all those permanent military bases and the biggest embassy in the world, has now signed a goodbye agreement and pushed the Quisling Iraqi government for its approval.

As an astral coincidence, the same day on Planet Earth "Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said some U.S. forces could be needed for 10 years":
"We do understand that the Iraqi military is not going to get built out in the three years. We do need many more years. It might be 10 years," Dabbagh said at a Pentagon press briefing.
Inviting the readers to see the results of another observation of this planetarium just a few days ago - particularly for the connections between Iraq and the escalation of the war against Afghanistan and the possible agreement between the US and Iran, not only on Iraq but on the Afghan front as well - here I'd like to call for your attention on two particular cosmic phenomena.

On Planet Cockburn, the Iraqi cholera outbreak finds its origin in "the purchase of out of date chemicals for water purification from Iran by corrupt officials". An observation of the same planet - this time in the Independent Galaxy - on October 10, 2008, found that "Cholera is endemic in Iraq". The universes are parallel but obviously facts develop in a different manner. On Planet Earth the New Scientist informed us in September 2007:
"A cholera epidemic has been on the cards since Iraqi water treatment plants were destroyed in the 1991 Gulf war. In 2003 the WHO [World Health Organization] reported that the UN trade embargo had prevented repairs and as a result. Now one of these outbreaks seems to be spreading out of control."
Possibly on Planet Cockburn there is no New Scientist, no WHO and the UN embargo and the First Gulf War either never happened or have been drawn into some black holes.

The other phenomenon is about the Iraqi prisoners detained by US forces. On Planet Cockburn, "Some three quarters of the 17,000 prisoners held by the Americans are Sunni and they [leaders of the Sunni Arab minority] wanted them released or at least not mistreated by the Iraqi security forces." Note that word, "mistreated".

On Planet Earth, Amnesty International wrote:
Thousands of Iraqis detained by US forces are at risk of torture or even execution, following the ratification of a security agreement between the US and Iraqi governments. Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which will take effect on 31 December, around 16,000 prisoners held by the US will be transferred to Iraqi custody.
On this 'mistreatment' read also this article published on Planet Earth.

Fantastic things happen on Planet Cockburn. In the Independent Galaxy on November 1, 2006, Baghdad was "under siege": "Sunni insurgents have cut the roads linking the city to the rest of Iraq". From Arbil, Northern Iraq, the siege of Baghdad looked so dramatic that people had "to live off water melon and bread" for weeks. In the following days and weeks I observed the Independent Galaxy, but there was no trace of that siege left. This observer could not detect that phenomenon in any other galaxy either.

On Planet Cockburn for years "the Most Powerful Man in Iraq" was Muqtada al-Sadr. On Planet Earth, that al-Sadr character (and his thugs), after being functional to the U.S. occupation, having fought against the Iraqi resistance, assassinated the last President of Iraq and his lawyers and carried out one of the most vicious ethnic cleansing in recent history, is now hiding in Iran only to surface from oblivion to organize some pathetic and poorly attended demonstrations against the loathed enemies where the bravest acts of resistance are the chants "NO NO USA - NO NO ISRAEL". I don't know on Planet Cockburn but surely on Planet Earth the US occupation must still be shaking with fear.

To be fair, Seymour Hersh has called Patrick Cockburn, "quite simply, the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today" and most of the progressive left in the West certainly agrees.

From my modest planetarium I can only try to reformulate in scientific terms a simple question I already asked this past May: Is Planet Cockburn a cosmic echo of the Big Bang?
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