15 Jan 2006

Reporting the War

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Can one imagine British and American papers during WWII operating in the fog of war during the uncertain aftermath of necessarily secret military operations happily publishing characterizations of Allied efforts by enemy spokesmen and echoing the viewpoint of the German press? Not very easily, but in our modern, more enlightened age, the MSM in both Britain and the United States has evolved an internationalist perspective, unburdened by patriotic loyalties, characteristically anti-America, anti-Bush Administration, and anti-Iraq War, which treats any murderous outrage by the forces of barbarism in the manner it would treat a particularly successful soccer play by a prominent visiting team, which carefully studiedly ignores Allied successes, and which makes a policy of publishing enemy allegations as factual news.

Under 48 hours after the US attempt to eliminate Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri by missile fire in remote tribal regions of Pakistan, the Guardian and the Washington Post pretend to have all the answers. There was a “botched operation” based upon “flawed intelligence” which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, including women and children. They know all this on the basis of the testimony of a combination of irate Islamic villagers, who –of course– would be among the hosts of targetted Al Qaeda terrorist commanders, and sundry Pakistani officials representing a government obliged in the circumstances created by precisely this kind of reporting to assume a posture of indignation in order to avoid bringing down upon itself the wrath of its own domestic Islamofascist sympathisers by appearing too closely aligned with Western governments.

Regrettably, the CIA is not in the habit of playing “Gotcha!” with the MSM, but they may have a good opportunity on this occasion. Earlier reports mentioned five terrorist bodies being carried off for further investigation. And even the New York Times quotes a senior Pakistani official as admitting that

11 militants had been killed in the attack. Seven of the dead were Arab fighters, and another four were Pakistani militants from Punjab Province, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the news media.

Whether Zawahiri was killed or not is obviously, at present, unknown, whatever local Pashtoons, Pakistani officials, the WaPo or the Guardian claim.

Earlier report


Today’s front-page coverage in the same papers, by some strange coincidence, accidentally overlooks the story of the rescue of a British free-lance journalist in Iraq by US forces.


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