Once again I've had my mind blown by the willingness of U.S. media to go along with fakery in service of U.S. government propaganda. I watched a documentary about Al Jazeera called The Control Room. It's a pretty good movie, but nothing too surprising to me until the very end.
Al Jazeera of course was ticking off the U.S. Defense Department in that they do show corpses. This inflames anger against the U.S. according to Al Jazeera's American critics. Apparently it's not enough that the U.S. can kill whoever they want. They want everyone to be quiet about it as well. Al Jazeera also showed video of dead U.S. soldiers and captured U.S. soldiers. This really ticked off the U.S. military. I think the problem is when Americans see their soldiers dead and captured this brings home the reality of war and horrifies everyone. This of course can erode support for war.
Al Jazeera had provided coordinates of their location in Baghdad to the U.S. military, but despite that on the morning of April 8, 2003 their Baghdad office was subjected to a missile attack by a U.S. warplane. One journalist was killed. Two other sites of independent journalists were targeted that same morning according to the movie.
The following day, with independent, unembedded journalists packing their bags and leaving Baghdad for fear of further attacks, the U.S. military and a small band of 20 something Arab looking males converged on a statue of Saddam Hussein at Firdos Square. With the square safely cordoned off by the U.S. military (see satellite image here) the event starts with a U.S. soldier draping the American flag that had been flying above the Pentagon on 9/11 across the face of the statue (see a picture here). This means that we're not seeing spontaneous Iraqi exuberance, but a planned event. Finally the statue is pulled down by an American armored vehicle. The "Iraqi people" converge on the statue and slap it in the face with their shoes in a shoe of defiance and exuberance at the liberty and democracy that has just been brought to them by the benevolent American warriors. All of these scenes can be accomplished without any independent journalists revealing the wider picture, which reveals the fake nature of the whole operation.
This is supposedly evidence that the U.S. was greeted as liberators. Meanwhile the previous and much larger anti-American demonstrations of real Iraqis are covered by Al Jazeera but ignored by others. This is more of what provoked American outrage against Al Jazeera.
I watched Saddam's statue fall live. It was quite moving and confirmed for me that my original support for the war was correct. Foreign press wasn't deceived so much. For instance Robert Fisk called it the most staged photo opportunity since Iwo Jima immediately after it happened. I'm just figuring it out now.
We've seen the fake cheerful protests of Iraqis in service to Saddam as he'd walk around and enjoy watching people pretend to love him. The fake demonstrations continue after Saddam, but under new management.