Thursday, April 03, 2003

Media War and the War
Well our local rag, the Evening Post (part of the embedded Daily Mail Propaganda Unit) is, day after day, giving us a diet of breathless war pie with side helping of war. Take the current online headlines; 'No Escalation of Conflict - Blair', 'Allies Can see Capital Skyline', 'PoW Arrives' and so on. It's only by the forth story that we get anything locally related (and even that’s a call for a pro-war rally). Yes - remember us, the people of Bristol? The ones who live within your news area? We've got an election going on, the BNP trying to move in and a council trying to bring in a £170,000 CEO for the city. I know the war is big news but all the Evening Pest is doing is covering the same stuff as every other western media outlet, indeed the Daily Mail headlines from the same time are eerily similar 'US forces see Baghdad skyline' etc..

So while our (supposed) local rag concentrates on repeating the same BBC-CNN-ITV-MSNBC blah blah blah that you can get everywhere, our saving grace is our own media and the net. Locally we have Bristol Indymedia, BS3 and The Bristolain. Tops sites all three.

Internationally, one of the most remarkable sites I've come across in this vein is, a Russian site that claims to be, "..created recently by a group of journalists and military experts from Russia to provide accurate and up-to-date news and analysis of the war against Iraq." They claim to intercept military communications and use this data to discover what really going on. I don't know how authentic it is, but if even half true its a massive amount of data and paints a very different picture of what's going on. Take a bit of the 2nd April report as an example; "Rough estimates show that the territory 'captured' by the coalition forces still contains at least 30,000 Iraqi regular troops and militia engaged in active combat. Military experts are already warning the US command about the danger of underestimating the enemy: doing so may seriously complicate the situation of the attacking forces and foil the coalition's very optimistic plans.....On the other hand, the Iraqi command is being forced to withdraw its troops under the protection of towns. Iraqis are also forced to minimize all active combat operations outside the city limits as the desert terrain maximizes the enemy's advantage in aviation and its technological superiority in reconnaissance and targeting systems. This robs the Iraqis of their mobility and forces them to resort to 'fortress-like' type of warfare, which, clearly, is significantly reducing their combat effectiveness."

If even half this stuff is true then we are being lied to about how well it's going and things are really quite touch and go. Now wouldn’t that be a surprise; to find out that the government has been lying to us?

No comments: