They raped me because I was wearing a miniskirt and stockings

In this post, I want to go back to the issue of "provocation". At the every end of yesterday's Today programme, a nice lady, a journalist, I didn't catch her name, was asked why this is such a dangerous time for journalists (a propos of the welcome release of Alan Johnston). She answered (and these are not exact words): "Because of our foreign policy", followed immediately by: "journalists are not distinguished from their countries' governments". There are two problems with this.

The first is simply that most of the journalists who are in danger are not from "the West" (which is presumably the "us" she refers to). Just to take Iraq, over 100 journalists have been killed since 2003 (70 murdered, 38 caught in the crossfire), of whom 86 were Iraqi. Most of these were killde by insurgents (62 confirmed). (And this does not count the 39 media support workers killed - all Iraqi except for one Lebanese). The overwhelming majority, in fact, work for Iraqi news organisations (63 of the journalists, 23 of the support workers). In fact, one Western journalist has been killed in Iraq this year, Russian Dmitry Chebotayev, killed along with American soliders in a roadside attack. Prior to that, the last were Paul Douglas and James Brolan, killed in May '06, killed by an insurgent bomb.

Globally, 85% of journalists killed are local correspondents, not foreign correspondents. The second most dangerous place for journalists is Algeria, where in fact it is often Islamist journalists targeted by the government, then Russia, where government-backed thugs kill dissident journalists with impunity, then Colombia, where journalists are at risk from right and left. In other words, the idea that it is "our" journalists "they" are killing is predicated on an ethno-centric view of the world.

The second, and more important point is about that word "because". Concentrating solely on Western journalists killed by insurgents, the journo's second statement, that the killers don't distinguish between "good" Westerners and "bad" Westerners is surely the correct "reason". That is, the racist, murderous, anti-Western ideology of the insurgents is what drives them to kill, not "our" foreign policy. Blaming our foreign policy is like blaming a rape victim for wearing sexy clothes.


Related posts:

Shiraz Socialist
All of us at Shiraz Socialist share in the relief and joy that Alan Johnston’s colleagues, friends and family naturally and quite properly feel at his release. Our only caveats would be, not to give Hamas too much credit for the release (after all, it was allies of Hamas who kidnapped him in the first place), and secondly, to remember all the other journalists in recent years, who have not survived: and especially this heroine, killed by the fascist barbarians of the Taliban, not just for being a journalist, but also for being a woman.
Also: Hak Mao: Upside Down, Jura Watchmaker: Alan Johnston freed - but where is Gilad Shalit?, Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Republic: Some Thoughts on the London and Glasgow attacks, Christopher Hitches: the bomb attacks were an attack on women; Bits of News: The abuse and kidnapping of migrant workers in Iraq and the Middle East.

Previous: Blaming Blair's Bombs, London bomb.

Keywords: slags


Anonymous said…
Just a quick correction; Hamas are not allies with the Army of Islam, who kidnapped alan Johnston. They are in fact rivals in Gaza, a rivalry that Hamas has clearly won.
bob said…
Thanks David
Jay M said…
Thats bullshit to blame what someone was wearing instead of on the horny creepy coward that fucks anything that it has a chance to just to feel a false sense of power (then will subsequently get raped in prison).
Wow! I feel so curious with this title because imagine you were guilty because you wore a miniskirt and stockings that's really provocative, I think other one had made the same.m10m

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