Impressed by the US media’s war coverage so far? You probably shouldn’t be. The Asia Times has a good look at what kind of news the rest of the world sees.
Before the day was out, CNN’s war coverage had been mocked and overtaken by images that showed the true face of war in all its madness and horror — images that almost invariably bore the label “Al-Jazeera exclusive”. These were not scrolling maps or armchair generals — these were scenes of a 12-year-old child with half her head blown off in Basra. This was the sound and fury of the relatives of victims of Tomahawk cruise missile strikes in northern Iraq loudly promising their revenge. This was live coverage of a hundreds-strong posse of armed and delighted Iraqis setting fire to the bulrushes of the Tigris River in search of a Western pilot presumed hiding within.
This was a guided tour of a roomful of US soldiers in a morgue. This was the fear in the eyes of a captured US soldier as he was asked by an off-screen voice in broken English why he came all the way from Texas just to kill Iraqis. “I follow orders,” he answered, a strain in his voice. These were images of war.
And while Western sensibilities might have been spared the trauma of exposure to these images, they went straight into the homes and hearts of 300 million viewers in the Middle East on Sunday. The effect was immediate, and strong.
(via Tom Brown [ironically enough, a Seattle Times weblog — kudos to them, and to Mr. Brown])