Saturday, August 13, 2005

Another Day in Paradise 

It is often said that with the advent of new communications technology, and in particular the internet, we are better informed than ever. This may be true in some respects but it is certainly not true regarding the war in Iraq. The U.S. military makes sure virtually no images of fighting get out. During the Vietnam war it was common to have TV crews right along side troops fighting and giving daily reports, with video, of the battles. But in Iraq there is none of that. To be with the U.S. troops reporters have to be “imbedded” which means they are under the control of the U.S. military and have very strict guidelines on what they can report. Further, the imbedded reporters almost always seem to be print journalists so even though some of the fighting might be described (rarely) it is almost never filmed.

Moreover, even the internet is not being exploited to its full capacity due to reporting restrictions. U.S. media such as the New York Times will often refer to statements or videos released by Iraqi insurgents on web-sites. Yet they are assidious about not releasing the web address. Why the fear of people going and looking for themselves?

Fortunately, there are a few people who are trying to counteract this and shed some light into this void. One such group is the web-site Crisis Pictures which buys the rights to and publishes pictures that otherwise wouldn’t generally see the light of day. The pictures below, which show the hell that the U.S. has turned Falluja into, are from that site. I advise everyone to have a look at it and those who are can to support it financially so that it can continue its important work.


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