Haider Al Safi

photo by Lily al Tai

Yesterday we were delighted to help author Dr Haider Al Safi celebrate the completion of his PhD and the publishing of “Iraqi Media: From Sadam’s Propaganda to American State-Building”.  Askance chose the 1st May to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Bush’s famous “mission accomplished” speech delivered on a US war ship to a mass of cheering American troops.  At the book launch a former Iraqi Ambassador called the US invasion a tsunami that did nothing to “build” Iraq.  Another Iraqi gave a first hand account of how the Pentagon squandered millions with ill-thought-out and dubious media contracts.  We learned that even a decade later, as Iraq’s current sectarian crisis impacts media channels – for Iraqi media – it is far from “mission accomplished”.

Yesterday on Twitter @LOLGOP tweeted: They should unveil George W. Bush’s Library 8 years before it’s done. #MissionAccomplished.  To which @hazzardeuce replied: They should tell people there are books, but after searching, there won’t be any. Askance likes the book analogy very much, but unlike Bush, we feel genuine in our claim (in so far as publishing the work and organising a great event) that it really was Mission Accomplished.

Askance would like to thank everyone that attended – in particular those that travelled from far, and those who contributed to the discussions by sharing their first hand experience.  A special thank you to Lord Ahmed and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues for supporting the event at the Houses of Parliament and to DJ Wiseman for his hours of painstaking proof-reading and editing – without him it wouldn’t have happened.

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