Skip to main content

CBS hacked after reporter says Ukraine ‘relatively civilized’ compared to Iraq

Western media comparisons of the war in Ukraine to the Middle East have been widely criticized.
Hackers post an image with the words “Iraq came, then history came" on a CBS website.

An American news outlet has been hacked by Iraqi hackers in response to a journalist comparing Iraq unfavorably to Ukraine. 

Last week, CBS featured a reporter in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, who spoke about the Russian invasion of the country. He said that Ukraine has been relatively peaceful throughout history, unlike Iraq. 

“This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized … city,” said the reporter

On March 2, hackers temporarily assumed control of CBS’ website and posted messages praising Iraqi civilization. One image read “Iraq came, then history came,” the Iraqi News Agency reported. The image also circulated on Iraqi social media

The reporter apologized for his remarks. In response, CBS was hacked again today by a hacker who demanded an apology from the network as a whole. He also posted a picture of the Iraqi flag on the website, Al-Monitor contributor Saman Dawod reported

The ordeal created a stir on Iraqi social media. The Erbil-based radio station Babylon FM posted one of the hackers’ images on Facebook today. The picture showed a Mesopotamian structure with the caption “uncivilized.”

Iraq is often dubbed the “cradle of civilization” and is one of the oldest inhabited places on Earth. The use of currency traces back to ancient Mesopotamia, for example.  

There have been several comparisons of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to wars in the Middle East. Last week, a French journalist said, “We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin; we’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives,” in response to Ukrainians fleeing their homes by car. 

The Iraqi Kurdish news outlet Rudaw published an article last week criticizing some of the comparisons. 

Some of the comparisons have not been truthful. Regarding the CBS reporter’s comments, Ukraine was actually at war with Russia for several years before last week’s invasion. 

Several articles in Western media have also dubbed the war in Ukraine the world’s “first social media war.” The Syrian civil war, which began in 2011, has been widely documented on social media, however. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial