|Chaldean News syndicates AINA's biased articles without fact-checking|
- Monday, April 11 2011, 2:33:30 (UTC)|
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The Chaldean News, a periodical published in Metropolitan Detroit, regularly publishes/syndicates stories from the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), despite the fact that I wrote them a letter bringing AINA's deliberate falsehoods to their attention. As you can imagine, the Chaldean News did NOT publish this letter to the editor:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Chaldean News
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2006 00:25:41 -0400
From: Jeffrey J. Atto <>
To: Joyce Wiswell <email@example.com>
AINA regularly posts distortions as well as deliberate falsehoods on
their site. I don't like to speak negatively about a person or group
unless I have the facts, so allow me to present them to you:
Read these articles from AINA'S web site:
1. Injustices Committed Against Assyrians in Northern Iraq
2. Cases of Kurdish Attacks upon Assyrians of North Iraq
3. PKK Abducts Assyrian Girl
Now, read the following, which was sent to me by David Chibo of
Australia, after visiting Northern Iraq for an extended period of time.
I believe David was in Northern Iraq for 3-6 months, and while there he
conducted extensive interviews with the Assyrians/Chaldeans there.
*"According to Kaiser Matti from the village of Khalilane in the Nahla
district of northern Iraq, of the 3 incidents misreported by AINA
(above), only the kidnapping of Wasan Mishael is true and the Assyrian
politicians with Kurdish support had her released and the criminal
*As for the other two incidents he clearly stated that they were cases
of Assyrian Christian women eloping with and marrying Kurdish men.
*He even went on to give me an example of another Assyrian woman that
had fallen in love with a Kurdish man and had tried to elope with him.
She'd gotten up early in the morning and attempted to secretly go to his
village. Her brother and his friends had caught up with her and -
determined to save his family's honor - he shot her through the heart
(killing her) and threw her body into a ravine.
*But I guess AINA was too busy to report on that incident..... " *
So one of my concerns with AINA is that while they have no "official"
political viewpoint, they are essentially a group which will distort the
truth and turn a love story between an Assyrian Girl and a Kurdish man
into a kidnapping, rape, or murder. They are trying to inflame the
religious tensions that exist between Muslims and Christians. I am
reminded, when I read their articles, of the stories that were present
before World War II about "Dirty Jews" who did terrible things to
innocent Christians. This is a terrible thing to be associated with.
In fact, check their web site and you will notice that they have never
reported on an Assyrian/Chaldean being harmed by anybody but Muslims.
When Majdolin Yonan and her innocent family were hurt by American bombs,
they didn't report on it. When Chaldean villages were bombed by
Americans, they didn't utter a peep. When Christian Churches were
bombed, they omitted the international reports and eyewitness interviews
about how the communities around those churches in Iraq were completely
integrated Muslims and Christians, with the people unified and
essentially one group which never before those bombings paid much
attention to the petty religious differences that existed.
The idea that they are pushing about a self-administrative region in
Iraq is just more of the same. I am reminded of the Jewish Ghettos in
World War II. I truly feel that the actions of the likes of AINA
actually hurt our people FAR MORE in the short term and long term then
most people realize. AINA's articles always capitalize on opportunities
to slam Islam, Kurds, etc. They never focus on anything positive in the
region, like cooperation between ethnic or religious groups. They never
consider that our people are targeted because of the US-led war, whose
president and some generals are actually evangelical Christians.
According to AINA, if a Christian Chaldean/Assyrian is killed by a
Muslim, they are a martyr or hero. If that same person is killed by a
"Christian" US bomb, they do not exist, and will not be reported on.
If a Chaldean in Iraq who is working for the US as an interpreter, or
engineer, or (as most Iraqis might call him), a "collaborator" as it
were, is killed, AINA would report that he was killed because he is
Christian, and not because he is working with US forces. If this man
was killed alongside 2 Muslim interpreters or engineers, I know AINA
would not report it. They are very selective.
I hope I have made myself understood, but since I am very passionate
about this subject, perhaps I haven't been so clear. Feel free to
contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
If you would like, I can give you more examples. If you wouldn't mind,
perhaps if you would still like to continue publishing AINA's articles,
you could send me the article beforehand and I could raise some comments
on the bias/falsehoods that seem to exist in the articles. Or, perhaps
you could submit the article so that I or someone else could write a
rebuttal to that article. It is important to consider that AINA is not
actually a news agency. I personally know 2 of the people who run AINA,
Peter BetBasoo and Firas Jatou. They are not news professionals with
credentials, but rather computer programmers and engineers with a severe
bias. They are nice guys, definitely, but the results of their work
produces so much harm which makes it necessary for me to speak up.
Jeffrey Joseph Atto
Joyce Wiswell wrote:
> Hi Jeffrey:
> A lot of the AINA articles we reprint have appeared elsewhere first. Are you
> suggesting they edit those articles before posting on their website? I am
> interested to hear what it is you object to regarding their posted articles.
> Joyce Wiswell
> Copy Editor
> Chaldean News
> 30095 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 102
> Farmington Hills, MI 48334
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey J. Atto 
> Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 5:18 PM
> To: Joyce Wiswell
> Cc: 'Vanessa Denha-Garmo'
> Subject: Re: Chaldean News
> I live in Royal Oak.
> I would appreciate feedback from the Chaldean News regarding the
> decision to use AINA as a source for some of your articles. As you can
> probably tell, I feel that it truly detracts from the validity of your
> Feel free to include my letter in the Letters to the Editor section.
> Jeffrey Joseph Atto
> Joyce Wiswell wrote:
>> Thanks for your letter; would you like it to run as a Letter to the
>> Editor? If so, what is your city please?
>> Joyce Wiswell
>> Copy Editor
>> Chaldean News
>> 30095 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 102
>> Farmington Hills, MI 48334
>It's not me who makes that claim the claim was made by Carol Lipton:
>1. The Kenneth Joseph Story
>2. Saddam Hussein's alleged shredder
>Feel free to chase up all the references that are sited.
>There are other examples. We already know that Sargon Dadesho not only got his Doctorate from a Diploma Mill (See: http://www.zindamagazine.com/html/archives/2006/02.25.06/index_sat.php#TheLighthouse) and he was getting funding from powerful political groups that utilise his media for their political objectives - such as promoting an ARab uprising in Iran - and in return providing him with the much needed funds for the operation of his AssyriaSat television.
>As for Ainkawa and AINA these may be run by our people but they may derive their funding through State Department grants which depend on religous based sites to create an air of Orientalism and justify the US invasion and occupation of our homeland.
>I mean I actually spent a few weeks in Nahla in the summer of 2003 and came to know the villagers and the surrounding Kurds quite well.
>I like you guys was shocked at the time by reports of Assyrian women being raped, abducted and murdered by Kurds in northern Iraq. So I armed myself with print outs of 2 AINA reports that I wanted to investigate whilst I was there.
>1. Injustices Committed Against Assyrians in Northern Iraq
>On the morning of January 13, 1996, Wasan Mishael, a 16 year-old Assyrian girl from Simele was kidnapped at gunpoint from her home. Under extreme emotional and physical pressure and abuse, she was forced to denounce her Christian religion and marry one of her kidnapers. The courage of the young girl and the Assyrian population's outrage forced Assyrian political parties to take action and force the capture of the criminals involved.
>On January 20, 1996, another minor was kidnapped. This time the victim was a 13 year-old Assyrian girl named Janet Oshana, who resided in the village of Mulla-Urab, near the town of Zakho. The perpetrator of this crime is a Kurdish man named Khorshid Othman Kalash. Although the Assyrian community's anger forced the kidnaper's apprehension by the authorities, the young girl has not yet been returned to the custody of her parents, and neither has the offender Kalash been brought to face justice.
>2. PKK Abducts Assyrian Girl
>Witnesses in North Iraq said that a group of armed PKK guerillas abducted a fifteen-year-old Assyrian girl named Ahlam Patrus Nissan from her village on September 16, 1996. Local farmers and others who witnessed the kidnapping said they saw the girl being carried off with an expression of fear on her face. The PKK admitted that they have the girl but they claim she joined them willfully. They have refused to allow anyone to speak to the teenaged girl. Apparently, it is common practice among some Kurdish tribes that after such abduction, the young girl is forced to marry her kidnapper. It is also common that in such cases, the victim is forced to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.
>Unfortunately the results are not what was expected. According to numerous eye-witness reports I took in the area they all corroberated the fact that of the 3 women mentioned in the 2 reports only one of the women - Wasan Michael - was legitimately abducted and thanks to the Kurdish authorities, working with the ADM, her abductor was arrested and she was returned to her parents.
>As for the other 2 girls they eloped with Kurdish men and in order to "save face" their parents had claimed that the women had been "abducted."
>I was then told that there are a handful of cases each year in which Assyrian women elope with non-Assyrian men throughout Iraq. I was then disgusted to hear of one Assyrian man brag about how one of the villager's sister had fallen in love with the a Kurd and on her way to elope with him her brother had caught up with her and had taken his Kalashnikov and put a bullet in his own sister's head and thrown her into a ravine.
>When I questioned AINA on their forum about the accuracy of their reports I was unfortunately censored not surprising considering that they rumoured to receive State Department support and have an active interest in maintaining the Oriental framework perpetuating all Middle Easterners as regressive, autocratic, sensual and decadent.
>But its not just us the Israelies have their own version of AINA and Ainkawa which reports the truth but puts a slight twist on it.
>See Brian Whitaker's report titled, Selective Memri which describes just how these news organisations function.
>I hope this gives you something to think about.
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