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March 22, 2002,
19:10 pm, Philadelphia - The war against Iraq is being conducted by the
Anglo-American coalition in an atmosphere of complete information vacuum.
Turn on the CNN, MSNBC, FOX or any other major news network and the picture
is the same everywhere – no news.
The same old
statements from the same old Rumsfeld; the same video footage used and
reused by all TV news networks thousands of time over the past three days;
the same old Wesley Clark reminding the world that he is still the US Army’s
most incompetent general, even if now retired. The TV news channels seem
to have all of that but real news on what is happening on the front.
was flipping through the hundreds of channels offered by my satellite TV
service in hopes of finding any new information about the war in Iraq.
The CNN was showing… photos and headlines from some Kuwaiti newspaper.
After talking for half-an-hour about this newspaper and looking at the
print from every possible angle, the CNN “field reporter” pulled out… one
more Kuwaiti newspaper and talked about it for another fifteen minutes.
That was pathetic even for the CNN.
I wonder how
this works: “Camera! Lights! We are going live in one, two … Quickly! Get
me a newspaper!” They are getting desperate there, I’m telling you… But
you’ve probably been watching the news as well, so you should already know
all of that. This day and age after being unable to find any decent news
on TV or in the press well-connected people turn to the Internet, so here
you are reading what some “Venik” has to say about the war in Iraq.
lock down by the coalition command on the flow of information is rather
unusual. Normally, the military would at least actively use the media for
disinformation purposes, as the US military did during the first Persian
Gulf War and during the bombing of Yugoslavia (and during all those dozens
of other armed conflicts in between). But a complete absence of any significant
news makes one very suspicious: how are things really going in Iraq? Is
Saddam really losing control of the country and of his troops? Are the
Americans and Brits are really in Basra and Umm Quasar? Did all the planes
really return to their bases as the Pentagon officials in Washington say?
And then there
some very lame attempts at propaganda by the US military. Consider the
false report about the entire Iraqi 51st Infantry Division surrendering
to the coalition troops. An entire division surrendered, really? This must
be huge news. There must be hundreds of videos all over the world’s news
networks showing hordes of demoralized and hungry Iraqi troops. There must
be hundreds of interviews with the Iraqis themselves and much footage of
all the destroyed and abandoned armor and artillery numbering in hundreds.
Where in the
hell is all this stuff? All we got was one or two lame staged videos shot
by the military showing a few dozen Iraqis half of whom are not even wearing
any uniforms. For that I know they may be civilians or not even Iraqis.
There is no footage of any weapons – was the entire division unarmed? And
then, of course, all the speculation fueled by official US government reports
of a possible missile strike that might have killed Saddam. As Rumsfeld
put it: “He [Saddam] is either dead or alive.” Yeah, no shit…
have no clue as to what is going on in Iraq. Thank God for the ex-Soviet
and a few dedicated Russian army experts who provide their intelligence
reports on the Web. But as far as mainstream media goes in terms of
accurate war reporting– you might as well be watching the Junk Yard Wars
on the TLC.
A day ago it
was reported that Bush was meeting with his entire cabinet, the top military
commanders and all of his advisors at Camp David. Even the elusive like
the white rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland” Dick Cheney was to be there.
That in itself is major news. Clearly Bush was not meeting with all these
smart folks just to drink beer and eat pretzels. And, yet, this meeting
was not, in my opinion, adequately covered by the media.
It is clear
that the war in Iraq was the reason for this meeting. And after the meeting
Bush said that the will be harder and longer than some expected. That the
second time in the past three days that he mentioned the “harder and longer”
part of this war. Obviously, something is going on and, as usual, CNN’s
got no clue and continues repeating Rumsfeld’s abracadabra. I understand
when the government wants to brainwash the enemy, but bullshitting its
own people is just sad.
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