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May 29, 2007

Next Week, The Only Casualty Left In Iraq Will Be … Reality


If the military is successful in enforcing the rule that no injured soldier can be shown by the media without obtaining consent first, what could possibly be the difference? 

Clip 1: Michael Kamber’s slide show for the NYT  regarding search for missing soldiers in Iraq.  Published: Wednesday, 23 May 2007.  (

Clip 2:  Freedom Journal Iraq Episode 654 re: search for missing soldiers in Iraq. Multinational Force Official Website.  Broadcast date: Thursday, 24 May 2007

  • lytom

    Viewing the Clip #1.
    The reporter makes a comment in his narrative about ” a constant ringing of the cell phone of the Iraqi informer” and then adds “later on it took an added significance.” Leading one to a conclusion that the cell phone guided the explosion to the place where the soldiers were. That seems not very believable, since cell phones can be put in a vibrator mode. The report has a flaw.

  • jtfromBC

    “Frankly, our job is to win the war. Part of that is information warfare. So we are going to attempt to *dominate the information environment*.”
    Lt. Col. Long. former head of media relations and responsible for the embed training program.
    Sept 25 2003.
    “The enemy are becoming more desperate as we pursue them.”
    Major Josslyn Aberle.
    May 28 2007.
    “..the regulations are a matter of common sense and decency, *not message management*.
    Lt. Col. Josslyn L. Aberle, chief of media operations for the Multi-National Corps in Iraq.
    Oh, by the way congratulations on your promotion Josslyn.

  • momo

    The NY Times piece helps the viewer see what it’s like to go on a mission. It’s dark, then dusty, hard to see, there’s a sense of danger around every corner. After the explosion, we see soldiers who are injured, shell-shocked, helpless.
    The Freedom Journal Iraq starts with bright images, upbeat music. The narrator is disconnected from the visuals. His description of the search for missing soldiers is vague, not connected to any specific search mission or search team. The images are bright, non-threatening. (Look! it’s so safe, even reporters are here, working on stories!) The soldiers appear to be in full control, walking confidently through towns, driving their vehicles on quiet roads.
    The FJI marketing strategy is simple: eliminate any and all negative images of war. Keep all narration positive and parrotting platitudes.. “No solider will be left behind.” “It’s good to know that when needed, their brothers will come.” “Every day brings the promise of more tips and opportunities…” “I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

  • Rafael

    Will there be an equal ban of showing dead Iraqis? Or does showing them stack like cardboard in pools of their own blood “decent”?

  • Cactus

    This weekend I saw two films/programs supposedly from the soldiers’ POV. The first was on “60 Minutes” and the second had been on the MIL channel called “Iraq War Tapes.” The thing that stuck with me is how many of the soldiers and their families believed that Iraq bombed the WTC! I also noticed that the TV they were watching in the tents was Faux Unnews Channel. How truly sad.
    I don’t know anything about being in a war, but I know corporate propaganda films and #2 example sure had all the earmarks. But then I guess if one is a grunt, one is used to such pep talks.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    ref : “Names, video, identifiable written/oral descriptions or identifiable photographs of wounded service members will not be released without the service member’s prior written consent.”
    i just love the self-referential / logical tautology of The Statement, Michael ~ i am so glad you glommed on to it. And i love the reference to Heller: “Catch-22“, or perhaps therein, the dialogue of Major Major : “…tell people they can only see me when i am not in my office, Sargeant!”
    And it’s all the more sweet with that synchronicity of Chavez shutting down Venezuelan media centres in the same news cycle. Of course, even more powerful would be if the photogjournalist were to give the government exactly what it asks for, by following their ridulous dictum :
    [1] a ghostly chalk mark “outline” on the ground, where the fallen soldier fell (there was a provocative stencil movement in San Francisco, and other cities, not so long ago ~ using this haunting remainder reminder to good effect).
    [2] a black rectangle, blotting out the fallen soldier’s eyes, as if the blindfold was (virtually) on him, and not us. This has the added visual suggestion of “obscenity”, n’est-ce pas?
    [3] some SuperImposition, or photoshop effect = imposter poster poseur ~ where we have either a noman 2-D generic “Face of the Fallen”, duly approved by the government as G.I. = General Issue Private DeadMan… US MilStd. DePartNum: KIA-22/B ?
    (of course, all the reactionary photoguerillas would super-impose the face of G.W.B. on every dead GI :)
    personally, i think the American people, if not their logical taught not Government ~ would be all the more horrified by any of the above : all the more so because, facade without face allows the viewer to bore in as an unabashed voyeur to all those elements, without fear, or guilt, and see the horror of it all, all the more plainly…
    …because without a face: then HE that hurts is ME, thus.

  • ummabdulla

    That second video is not exactly gripping journalism, is it?

  • Dunc

    I agree with the person above; the ban will be hard to enforce for its lame journalism. I also think that is a strategy for the military- to begin to erase the eye catching gore of occupation, not so much for the gore, but for the catchiness of keeping Iraq newsworthy.

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