The Washington Post contrasts the U.S. Army’s effort to get the facts about the Fallujah campaign into the public domain with an anonymous left-wing blogger’s effort to undermine the Iraq war effort by posting gruesome photos which allegedly were taken in Fallujah. Guess who wins?
The military’s Power Point presentation can be viewed at Soldiers for the Truth, as well as other sites. The anti-war site is Fallujah In Pictures. Here is how the Post describes the anti-war blog:
The site has become one of the hotter blogs on the Internet, receiving thousands of visits a day. [Ed.: Thousands? Wow!]
In the version of the Web site that was up last week, the first image on the site showed a malnourished Iraqi baby, wide-eyed and screaming in pain, under the sarcastic headline, “another grateful Iraqi civilian.”
Many of the photographs are far more graphic than are usually carried in newspapers, showing headless bodies, bloodied troops, wounded women, and bandaged babies missing limbs. One added recently shows a U.S. soldier with part of his face blown away by a bomb.
The blog also amounts to a critique of the U.S. news media. Another section of the site, under the headline, “Also not in today’s news,” shows a photograph of a Marine propped against a concrete wall, grimacing as he is treated for a shrapnel wound in his upper right leg.
The anonymous blogger and the Washington Post have learned one of the lessons of Vietnam: if all you show is photos of dead and wounded people, most of the people who see them will eventually be persuaded to be anti-war.
But the problem with the dominant media coverage of Iraq is not a failure to emphasize casualties. On the contrary. Every time an IED blows up and kills or wounds an American soldier, it is front page news. Television programs that have never before evinced any interest in the safety of American soldiers have devoted themselves to long readings of the names of military dead. What is hard to find in the mainstream coverage of Iraq is not an awareness of casualties, both military and civilian, but rather an appreciation of the purposes of the operation and the successes being achieved throughout Iraq, both military and economic.
But that isn’t how the Post sees it. The Post, like other liberal institutions, frets that it may not be anti-war enough. Consequently, if you set up a web site that shows nothing but pictures of the dead and wounded, you’ve got the Post’s seal of approval, and a live link.