April 2003 #4

The War They Don't Want You to See

I find it very interesting the US military can give us very accurate, up to date and "factual" information on the official war they are currently "executing" in Iraq. "Of course", they tell us, "we do all we can to ensure that civilian lives are not taken, but, they say, war is a terrible thing and sometimes people die" (collateral damage).

We now read that the US military is considering the use of satellite phones by journalists. Its seems that one of the best units you can buy is made in the middle east and the US says that with their inbuilt global positioning systems, these satellite phones might be used by the Iraqis to target the units the "embedded" journalists are with. The military also uses these phones. But they also tell us that this is the "smart" war and that they can tell where everyone is.

I mention this as it seems to me that as I've listened to the rhetoric coming out of Washington, London and Canberra, there is real fear that the media are actually doing a really good job of telling us what is happening.

Funny isn't it, that the hotel Palestine in Baghdad came under fire as did the Al Jazeera building on the day that 2000 pound bombs were dropped on a civilian area. The military tells us that was done because of reports that Saddam and his sons were in the area. However, the "smart bombs" killed civilians NOT Saddam or his sons. Furthermore, the Pentagon spokespeople tell us that they cant confirm if it was their weapons that targeted the hotel or Al Jazeera. However, journalists at both location who survived the attack said they know exactly what happened - that US forces opened fire. "Errant" fire the officials told us. But I thought the tank shells were just "dumb" weapons - lumps of steel tipped lead (or as we now know from official sources, steel tipped depleted uranium shells) that basically follow the trajectory they were fired on. I meant, come on, if you see the tank aim, a puff of smoke and a building starts to crumble around you, its pretty likely that you were fired on.

The image attached to this e-mail is the type of image that the masters of war don't want us to see. They don't want people on the ground who see their job as telling the story in a detached and "balanced" way sending out these type of "bad PR" images. After all propaganda is what THEY do to US. We just tell the facts. The masters of war don't want the "fourth estate" looking over their shoulders. After all, a few pictures, a short video or a tape recording could end up being used as evidence in war crime trials. Strange isn't it how the US refused to sign up to the ICC.

I heard on the news last night that a campaign was being mounted to send e-mails of images such as the one attached (I decided not to use the one of small child with half his/her head blown off) to federal politicians. I heard some joker from the big house say that while we have the right to send the
images, they were a little disturbing and perhaps people should be more considerate. Sorry fella, when our community starts being more considerate to the millions killed by the system we allow to rule us, then maybe, we will tone down our message.

So, the media is being threatened, killed, blamed and cut out of the war - unless they do the bidding of the masters. If you want to see the war they don't want us to know about, log onto any of the web sites that report on the 700 people an hour being admitted to Baghdad hospitals or the sites showing the civilian casualties.

I do aim to offend. I do hope my little diatribes stir you up. I do hope you raise your voice and say "enough" and do all you can to oppose this "dirty
little war" that in the end, will benefit neither you or I but rather, those whose aims it serves.