Little to say for myself

Wednesday, March 26, 2003  

It's Worse than I Thought

Major General Patrick Cordingley, the Today prog's regular war pundit, made a depressing observation this morning. They were discussing (ironically) to what extent the day-to-day media intrusion into the operations in Iraq - all the "embedded" war correspondents - affected military planning. He said that, when he was commanding the Desert Rats in GW1, they crossed over into Kuwait a week earlier than they had originally planned to, largely because of persistent media comments that nothing much was happening (after 5 weeks of carpet bombing). He imagined the pressure to be much worse this time, because of all the extra reporters and 24/7 rolling news channels there.

So because all those camera crews are there - supposedly to slake the public's thirst for "information" but actually just vying for the "Most (porno)Graphic Shot of the Day" award - they are in danger of morphing into the film crew for the sequel to Saving Private Ryan, with the US equivalent of Alastair Campbell playing Steven Spielberg.

This takes the old Heisenberg metaphor (that an event cannot be reported without the report changing the nature of the event) to ridiculous extremes.

posted by Plig | 17:23 |

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Forget the sentimental notion that foreign policy is a struggle between virtue and vice, with virtue bound to win.
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