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2003-04-02

"Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You": A Discussion with Media Critic Norman Solomon

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"Two months ago, when I wandered through a large market near the center of Baghdad, the day seemed like any other and no other. A vibrant pulse of humanity throbbed in the shops and on the streets. Meanwhile, a fuse was burning; lit in Washington, it would explode here."

So begins a recent column by Normon Solomon titled "Media War: Obsessed With Tactics and Technology."

“Now, with American troops near Baghdad, the media fixations are largely tactical. "A week of airstrikes, including the most concentrated precision hits in U.S. military history, has left tons of rubble and deep craters at hundreds of government buildings and military facilities around Iraq but has yielded little sign of a weakening in the regime’s will to resist," the Washington Post reported on March 26.

“Shrewd tactics and superlative technology were supposed to do the grisly trick. But military difficulties have set off warning bells inside the U.S. media echo chamber. In contrast, humanitarian calamities are often rendered as PR problems, whether the subject is the cutoff of water in Basra or the missiles that kill noncombatants in Baghdad: The main concern is apt to be that extensive suffering and death among civilians would make the "coalition of the willing" look bad. "

  • Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of "Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You" with Reese Erlich.

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