Unproven claims successfully disguised as facts in the media can be persistent obstacles to finding the truth. Once something is put in print, it becomes referenced as fact by other people who seldom check the source. There was a time when American soldiers were derided in the press for wearing sunglasses in Iraq. Someone had the notion that sunglasses were deeply offensive to Iraqis, many of whom also wear sunglasses. In the retelling of terrorist attacks in Iraq, key details are often left out while others insinuate themselves into places they don’t belong. So it was for the thwarted bomb attack in this village, which quickly found its way into media reports, described as yet another incident of sectarian violence, which on some level it was.
In front of the walls pocked with craters from the ball bearings, truth was more nuanced. But apparently no journalists visited the village to find out what really happened and what it tells us about the people who live here. American commanders were so taken with the sacrifice that LTC Eric Welsh led a patrol up to the village, and after some time we found the mosque. LTC Welsh talked with the village men where the Martyr saved the people. I recorded the conversation. Please listen here.I'm posting this as a brief with limited additional comment from me because I want to use it as a compare and contrast with the next post about the BBC in Israel.