Monday, October 23, 2006

What Can You Learn

[posted by Callimachus]

About the media and its role in the Iraq war from this.

On Wednesday, and again on Friday, Sunni insurgents believed to belong to al-Qaida in Iraq, staged military-like parades in the heart of five towns in the vast and mainly desert province of Anbar, including the provincial capital Ramadi. Some of these parades, in which hooded gunmen paraded with their weapons, took place within striking distance of U.S. forces stationed in nearby bases.

The parades proved to be a propaganda success, with TV footage of Wednesday's parade shown in many parts of the world, a likely embarrassment for the U.S. military as well as the embattled Iraqi government.

But ... but ... I thought Iraq was "nearly impossible to report" in any valid and complete sense and that the country outside Baghdad was " 'off-limits' for Western journalists." And that those "Sunni insurgents" were so terrifyingly hostile to newsmen that media didn't dare risk getting within kidnapping distance of them.

Who took this footage, then? Journalists? Or insurgents? Who knows? The AP doesn't tell you. Apparently it thinks that detail is not newsworthy.

Reuters has photos, but it identifies them only as the work of a "stringer." Which means it paid for them, one way or another.