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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Fallujah, the press and the new tyranny

posted by Ron Beasley at 1/09/2005 09:52:00 AM


We have a corporate media and a government that wants to control what we see and hear. I don't know about you but that sounds a lot like the old Soviet Union to me. Over at The Left Coaster soccerdad tells us how the siege of Fallujah resulted in untold civilian death and suffering and how the press either willingly or by coercion made sure we didn't hear about it.
Mike Whitney asks what happened to the media after the battle?

The role of the media in the siege of Falluja has been nearly as extraordinary as the battle itself. The siege began on November 8, but by Nov. 15 the military had declared "victory" and the story disappeared from all the major media. It was as if the Pentagon had simply issued an edict forbidding any further coverage of the conflict, and the press left without protest.

Mr Whitney claims that the behavior of the media can be attributed to the fact that they are now, for the most part, a �corporate media� rather than the free press we all desire. Corporate media operates by the same standard as other businesses. My interpretation is that their motivation is profits. To maintain profits you must be able to attract viewers/readers and to do that you must have access to the events of the days. I believe there is an unspoken fear that getting on the wrong side of the administration will lead to reduced access. Thus, there has been little in the way of reports concerning the effects of the siege on Fallujah and its former inhabitants.

It is clear that the US wanted as little publicity and information as possible to be disseminated from Fallujah. One of the early targets in the attack was a hospital. Apparently the military was angry about the reports from Fallujah concerning casualties from the previous attack on Fallujah 6 months earlier and attributed the reports to doctors at the hospital. The military considered the hospital as a center of propaganda. So there would be no casualty reports from the hospital and we know the military does not count dead or injured civilians. Everyone killed is an �insurgent�.

It would appear that the Iraqi �government� also threatened the media. On Nov 12, 4 days after the start of the siege Iraq's media regulator warned news organizations Thursday to stick to the government line on the U.S.-led offensive in Fallouja or face legal action.
The US military refused to let the International Red Cross into Fallujah. And this is the mindset of those in charge:
Many think that the brutal nature of the siege of Fallujah was retaliation for the failed operations the previous April. The thinking behind this tactic was summed up by New York Post columnist and former military officer Ralph Peters.
�We must not be afraid to make an example of Fallujah. We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price... Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it.�
This makes me hide my head in shame. And they keep insisting that Iraq is nothing like Vietnam. They did learn one lesson from Vietnam, don't let the American people see or hear what's really going on.