Little to say for myself
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Watching Through my FingersI'm trying to avoid TV coverage of the war now, despite my voyeuristic tendencies. It seems to comprise a mixture of (a) snuff movies (of distant bombs hitherto, but no doubt much worse to come once the street fighting starts), and (b) various coalition chiefs giving press briefings telling us how well it's all going.
On the first topic, the only reporter I've seen who hasn't behaved as if it's some kind of thrill-ride is Nicholas Wichell. He looked ashen while reporting events at the weekend, and reminded us that every explosion we saw in that night's "spectacular" Baghdad bombing footage was actually snuffing out lives. There - that flash - that just killed someone like you and me. Do we need actually to see recognisable chunks of flying flesh before we deem this kind of thing unacceptable?
On the second topic, what is the bloody point? We already know the real aim of these briefings - not so much reporting to us the true situation, as trying to convince the Iraqis that resistance is futile in the hope that they'll surrender without a fight. OK, so that's a laudable motive, but do they really imagine the Iraqis don't know that too? Do they honestly think that, because they're dealing with a bunch of gullible towel-heads, everything they say will be believed?
Of course we are sophisticated Westerners, and we understand that when Saddam or one of his cronies comes on the TV and announces that the US-led invasion is about to collapse, we dismiss it as transparent fiction and crude propagandising - another example of the cruel manipulation of his hapless people. Fortunately for us, the Iraqis aren't capable of our type of reasoning, so we can confidently base our military strategy on the knowledge that whatever we feed them they will swallow. Once they hear a translation of what these unknown, but clearly well-meaning, infidel invaders are saying, they will choose to believe that rather than the transparent lies of their compatriots.
I'm left in a position where I can't believe anything either side is telling me, so what's the point in tuning in? All I'm doing is justifying the unsightly competition between private media interests to try to scoop each other.
posted by Plig | 13:36 |
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