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Chaos and Lawlessness

Posted by Ed on April 12, 2003

Brian Whitaker in the Guardian describes the different viewpoints of the US and British governments, and the world’s media.

Donald Rumsfeld ranted about the focus of the media on the chaos and lawlessness in some of Iraq’s cities,

“I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I read eight headlines that talked about chaos, violence, unrest. And it just was Henny Penny – ‘The sky is falling’. I’ve never seen anything like it! And here is a country that’s being liberated, here are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator, and they’re free.”

but failed to mention how well the media had cooperated just a couple of days previously by repeatedly showing the fall of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

I heard a report on Dutch TV yesterday from a reporter in Iraq who had visited many parts of the country away from the capital. He reported that in the rest of the country the statues and portraits of the ‘great leader’ remain intact, and the statue whose demolition was broadcast was in fact more or less the only one to suffer that fate. (Sorry – no link)

Downing Street apparently hit out at the BBC’s defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, who has a war diary on the BBC’s website.

“A spokesman for prime minister Tony Blair claimed that “in the main the anarchy and disorder is being directed against symbols of the regime”. Mr Gilligan hit back: “The reality is half the shopping district [in Baghdad] is now being looted. Downing Street may be saying it’s only regime targets that are being attacked. I’m afraid it isn’t.””

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