Monday, August 21, 2006

Enemy Image

I watched this really powerful, hard hitting documentary last night on CBC Newsworld called "Enemy Image", which traces war reporting and how television has covered war from Vietnam to the present. It talked about techniques the military uses to ensure that the American public never sees the real face of combat and the horrors of war. The Pentagon and the right-wing Pr0-Bush media tightly control the images we see so we get a sanitised, bloodless view and the government looks better in the public eye. As opposed to Vietnam, where reporters had much more freedom to show the real face of war, American soldiers wounded, dying, scared, committing atrocities, combined with images of peasants dead and homeless. These images were so powerful that it swayed public opinion against the war and forced the government to remove its troops.

Since then the American government and military has decided that they do not want to lose control of how a war is covered by the media ever again and have put many procedures in place to ensure that the images we see are the ones they want us to see. Motorcades of tanks and military vehicles draped in American flags liberating cheering crowds of Iraqi's, smart bombs taking out precision targets, missles being fired out to the distance etc. The problem is we are not seeing the other side. What's happening on the ground, the death and destruction those missles are causing to innocent civilians once they hit or miss their targets.

It really made me angry and proud to live in Canada with a much more objective media. I really
hope that they show this documentary in the United States so people there can see the images of war that none of the major networks would show.


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