Monday, July 05, 2004
Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein Statue
Way back on September 05, 2003, I posted the question: "Was the pulling down of Saddam's Statue a staged media event?" Based upon a photo from the Centre for Research on Globalisation, it certainly appeared that the visual equivalent to the Fall of the Berlin wall was staged. But you read little of that in the mass media.
Now, according to the Los Angeles Times, we learn that, far from the spontaneous act of a crowd of enthused Iraqis, this was indeed a improvised PsyOp event:
As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, Marines converged on Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam Hussein. It was a Marine colonel — not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was widely assumed from the TV images — who decided to topple the statue, the Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army psychological operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking.
After the colonel — who was not named in the report — selected the statue as a "target of opportunity," the psychological team used loudspeakers to encourage Iraqi civilians to assist, according to an account by a unit member.
Hey, that's what happens during war. I have no problem with the use of that sort of managed image during the war to help demoralize the enemy fighters.
The "quick thinking Marine" and Army psychological team who made the effort to topple the statue appear Iraqi-inspired -- in part because they packed the vehicle with cheering Iraqi children -- deserves kudos for their creative efforts during battle.
Where these things always go astray is the failure, after the war, to acknowledge the deception. Invariably, Psy Ops events used during battle against the enemy eventually is used to manipulate the population of the country that managed the event. Its crossing the line from legitimate battle tot actic to Orwellian propaganda.
I cannot count how many times I've seen that image on CNBC, on Fox, on CNN. Each time it runs, it raises emotional uissues we now know are false and deceptive.
After this Army revelation, will these stations still run what we have learned was not what it appears to be?
We'll find out soon enough.
Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein StatueDavid Zucchino
L.A. Times, July 3, 2004
Centre for Research on Globalisation:
The pulling down of the Statue was a staged media event
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