Our “watchdog press,” and how it danced in Firdos Square

Peter Maass’s article is here.

Back in April, 2003, when all those corporate twinks were out there gushing over that
great non-event in Firdos Square, the truth about it was quite visible right on the website
of the BBC, which featured aerial shots of what was really going on. Contrary to the
frequent claim that this was like Berlin in 1989, those images made very clear that there
were very few Iraqis there, amid that happy horde of US journalists, and all the cameras.
(Such images were also published by other foreign news outlets, including AFP
and Reuters.)

But that, of course, was counter-evidence that the exuberant “Allied” press just could not,
would not see, because it would have made it hard for them to do their courtly dance in
honor of Bush/Cheney’s righteous war. And so those inconvenient images did not exist
(although, of course, they did).


John Burns’ “ministering angels” and “liberators”
By Glenn Greenwald

In this week’s New Yorker, Peter Maass — who was in Iraq covering the war at the time — examines the iconic, manufactured toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square, an event the American media relentlessly exploited in April, 2003, to propagandize citizens into believing that Iraqis were gleeful over the U.S. invasion and that the war was a smashing success. Acknowledging that the episode demonstrated that American troops had taken over the center of Baghdad, Maas nonetheless explains that “everything else the toppling was said to represent during repeated replays on television — victory for America, the end of the war, joy throughout Iraq — was a disservice to the truth.”

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