Empty Days

Wednesday, March 31, 2004



The incident today in Iraq was thoroughly edited on american and canadian tv, though CBC "dared" to show those charred bodies hanging from the bridge - for about a tenth of a second. This is nothing new, we are well-protected from too much bad news, and we really don't want to know too much either. Because, apparently, sensationalism stimulates emotion and it is very easy to manipulate emotionally disturbed viewers. I would contend that we already get wonderfully manipulated as it is, so I don't think the problem lies with the power of images per se but with the commentary that goes with it. And for that reason here are the sordid pictures that were not shown.




Click for more.

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Instapundit has this to say about this:
BAD DAY IN FALLUJAH: I don't have a lot to say about this: it seems clear that the bad guys are still trying for a repeat of Mogadishu, unaware that the script has changed.

That's pundits for you: they think the whole world is out to impress them - or not.

My comment: in a remotely well-controlled country "the bad guys" would at least have to hide after the deed. Here you have by-standers cheering and having a feast - they didn't kill but they're damn glad somebody did. Does it look like Mogadishu? Nops. It looks like Gaza.

***

Update. OxBlog, another neocon outlet, wonders how come Instapundit et al have nothing to say all of a sudden:

HORROR AND SILENCE: The savage brutality of yesterday's murders in Fallujah has shocked the blogosphere into silence. How often does an event of this magnitude provoke only a few lines of commentary from some of the most prolific authors on the web? On the other hand, are there any words that can say as much as the images of joyous young men hacking away at a charred American corpse?

Perhaps it will become possible to think about yesterday's slaughter once the numb and shock begin to wear off.


The remark is true. But I have to wonder: why is it never possible to look facts straight in the face and at least admit that things might not be as good as you want them? Why do you have to cheer instead of giving some thought to *reality* - or fall into immediate despair instead of taking a look at what might be going wrong and needs correcting?

It seems to me that the staunch supporters of this war are simply afraid to look at the real picture - because it teaches lessons they don't want to learn. In their partisan ardor they forget that this is not a football team they're cheering for - but a messy, bloody, uncertain and saddening process called "military occupation of a foreign country". But they're too afraid the US public will act emotional and demand an immediate retreat - so they go on and pretend it's a football game that needs cheering. And when something goes too obviously wrong to conceal, they fall silent. Instead of looking at what's really happening, at what needs improvement, change, corrective - they fall silent. Only to resume cheering once the moment has passed.

Hell. I don't like this war at all. Yet I don't want the US to mess it up still further now that they're there - for themselves and the rest of us in the world. I am not cheering for their defeat. But I am not going to cheer for official stupidity either. Something is not going right and it's not just because of some "small and resilient hate-filled minority" in some small town. This needs constructive thought and pressure for change - not cheering or wailing.

And certainly not silence.





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