Why Am I Not Even Surprised?

In the grand recent tradition of American war journalism, yet another story of hyper-inflated, grossly exagerated, nearly fabricated, piece of pseudo-news…

This article from the Toronto Star details how the US Military entirely made up a ready-for-TV war drama. A must read if you still had an ounce of trust in major US media outlets.

If it was not so sad, it would nearly be comical to see the lengths to which they went in order to produce their uplifting rescue movie mission.

In a nutshell: what the American media depicted all over as the glorious rescue of a poor 19 year old female US soldier held prisoner by vicious Iraqi doctors, was, in fact, the trashing of a hospital where the Iraqi staff had given her the best treatment humanly possible and had even tried to return her to the American, two days before. There was not a single military left in the vicinity and the US Army knew it.

Selected bit from the article:

Three days after the raid, the doctors had a visit from one of their U.S. military counterparts. He came, they say, to thank them for the superb surgery. […]
“I told him he was very welcome, that it was our pleasure. And then I told him: ‘You do realize you could have just knocked on the door and we would have wheeled Jessica down to you, don’t you?'”

This article not only points out the bullish attitude of the US army in this case, it also depicts an Iraqi hospital staff who did their best in the worst of times, showed profesionalism, respect and compassion toward what had been designed as their “ennemy”. I think if there is an uplifting heroic story here, it’s definitely on that side.

Another article in the Guardian also mentions this as part of a more general piece on the overall poor quality of US media during this war and the new Holywood angle adopted by the Pentagon’s media managers.

Oh, and just in case you are shocked or surprised… or if you think it’s the first time the US media pull one like that, just look back not so long ago: remember during the first Gulf War, the story about Iraqi soldiers pulling premature babies from their incubators? Well, it was a complete hoax, and not a very good one at that, featuring among other things the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington in the role of “the first-hand witness”…

But as pointed out by this Salon’s article on the topic: “What people remember are the first sensational reports they heard, not the page 17, nit-picking follow-ups”…

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