Calling Out the Yellow Journalism Of Vice and Ali Amad.
Remembering the ‘Somalia Affair,’ Canada’s Forgotten Abu Ghraib Moment
If you’re wondering why I’m only now writing a response to an article from last year, it’s because I do not visit the website that it is published on, unless I absolutely have to. I do not like Vice. Were it to come in paper form it would only be suitable for lining a birdcage. But, I was looking something up online a little earlier when something caught my eye. The words ” The words “Remembering the ‘Somalia Affair,’ Canada’s Forgotten Abu Ghraib Moment” jumped out at me from the screen of my laptop. Reading further I see that it is an article in Vice.
I thought I might have a stroke I was so pissed off. It illicited in me a reaction that released adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone, making my heart beat faster and my vision go a little darker. Since I didn’t have the immediate urge to run, I knew it was the fight instinct kicking in and I would need to take a bit if time to cool down.
This is a video that was embedded in the article. The author is trying to get the reader to buy his argument that these situations are all similar, here drawing a comparison between what happened in Somalia and events in Guantanamo Bay.
I finished working on a couple things and then went to the article, carefully reading every line. By the time I had finished it, I was even more pissed off than I was earlier, so I took the time to once again cool down, and rationally consider my response to young Mr. Amad’s article.
I wanted to know about the author, so I followed the link on the page to his Twitter account. which has a total of 107 followers since being opened three years ago. He’s a freelance writer/journalist who hails from “TDot” and is a big fan of Stanley Kubrick. He has bylines in four online magazines in Canada and he seems to have a thing for Che Guevara.
Eager to draw the comparison, the author makes sure to embed previous articles about Abu Ghraib prison. About the only comparison beteween the two is that in both instances somebody took pictures.
This is about what I would expect of someone who works for Vice. They may aspire to do journalism, but what they do is hardly journalism, it’s more propaganda. Vice has an agenda, and that agenda does not coincide with my set of beliefs and values. In short, I think it’s biased left-wing crapola.
If this article is an example of what Amad considers journalism, then he should start calling himself a yellow journalist. While I do not argue the veracity of the facts in his article, there are a great number of facts that he left out of the article entirely, facts that needed to be included in the article. This is information that would have been quite visible to anyone who bothered to do a cursory search on the topic, so perhaps he didn’t do his homework in which case he fails as a journalist.
I’m talking about mefloquine, the anti-malarial drug that has caused brain damage in some of the people who took it. It has been implicated in a number of murder-suicides among veterans and active duty military personnel in the United States and Canada, and he would have seen this if he had bothered to look.
A previous Vice interview with “torture photographer” Andres Serrano, whose graphic and disturbing scenes of torture illicit memories of snapshots taken in Abu Ghraib prison.
But, then again, maybe he did know about it and chose not to include it in his story. I mean, it’s pretty compelling. Unless of course, he had an agenda. Nothing like writing something that will portray the military in the worst possible light, right?
Matchee, a Cree man, was later reported to have bragged that “the white man fears the Indian and so will the black man.”Ali Amad
If he had bothered to look, or even cared to, he also would have found a report saying that after taking one of the pictures in question Matchee began hitting the ground with a stick, hitting camel spiders that only he was seeing. The incident in question fell on the same day that the weekly mefloquine dosage was administered. There were numerous reports of serious side effects, which included hallucinations and psychosis, including by Matchee and Brown on the night Shidane Arone was killed.
It would be hard to justify calling him a journalist based on what I have seen, though he can certainly hang on to the “writer” title. Vice is supposed to be one of the alternatives to the mainstream, one of the sites that was edgy yet still did journalism. It is nothing more than a money making enterprise, caring little about the truth, that prints bullshit.
Mr. Amad and Vice owe the veterans of the Somalia mission, and the truth, an apology. Your article served no other purpose than to act as click-bait. It was nothing more than a sensationalized half-truth that was used to generate revenue, not report the facts. That they chose to drag people through the mud for the sake of a few clicks is repugnant, and is further evidence that what is published on its site is to be taken with a grain of salt. It is incumbent on the reader of a Vice article to verify the facts contained in it, because God knows that it was published with little regard for the facts.
Perhaps Mr. Amad is better suited to writing articles about comic books, like this one that he wrote a couple weeks after the hack-job he did on Canadian vets.
So for anyone who ever wondered why I don’t care for Vice, here’s a good example.
Oh, I believe that I can safely speak on behalf of a large number of Canadian veterans when I tell Ali Amad and Vice to go get fucked.