Tuesday, April 20, 2004

No Reality But Our Own Allowed

U.S. says Al-Jazeera is putting troops at risk by telling lies. Lies like U.S. forces are terrorizing civilians in Falluja.

So, I guess The UN, Foreign Aid Watch, The UK journalism establishment, The Yellow Times, and a host of others are lying, too? No. They just don't control a satellite news network which can challenge the U.S.'s sanitized and televised Fox News version of reality.

Urban warfare is ugly. Inevitably, civilians die. If you play Nintendo warfare and strike from the air with missiles and heavy guns, you make it much more likely that large numbers of civilians will die so that you can avoid friendly casualties. That is what the Bush Administration is doing.

Perhaps American's would still approve of these tactics if they were reported in the mainstream press as anything more than bloodless descriptions of the tactical situation. But if instead of saying things like, "American C-130 gunships today fired upon buildings from which raids had been launched by insurgents," and instead said, "Spectre gunships mounting dual mini-guns, firing thousands of DU rounds per minute, fired upon occupied civilian structures, killing between 60-70 civilians according to hospital workers inside the beseiged city of Falluja today," perhaps Americans would have a clearer picture of what their forces were doing in Iraq at the moment.

The Bush Administration does not want that clearer picture to emerge, nor do they want mangled Iraqi civilians appearing on television, even if it is just Al Jazeera. When the morality of a military action relies upon obscuring the truth about it, the Administration's claim of the moral high-ground in the conflict becomes dubious indeed.

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