International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

April 2, 2003

April 2, 2003




**  Both sides "manage information" as "another weapon"; many see Iraq winning "the propaganda battle."

**  Arab and Muslim dailies praise Al-Jazeera and other Arab channels for countering "biased reporting" of Western media "monopoly."

**  Some praise, others deride practice of "embedding" reporters with troops.



'Information is a weapon' wielded by both sides--  Dailies worldwide argued that the media are playing "a central role" in the Iraq conflict, and that "the control of information, including its manipulation, is...a key element" in what is partly a "psychological war."  Italy's center-right Il Giornale judged that "the management of the era of TV and Internet communication" has become "even more crucial."  Papers held that both sides use the mass media as "propaganda instruments," with some giving Iraq the edge so far:  A Czech daily claimed "nothing has been as Saddam's war propaganda."  A number of papers cited that as one reason Iraqi TV "was moved to the list of bomb targets."


Al-Jazeera provides 'credible alternative' to Western media's 'lies'--  Papers in the Arab and Muslim world praised Al-Jazeera and other Arab channels as "major obstacles frustrating U.S. plans in Iraq" and presenting a "different reality" of the war.  The U.S. "lost control of media spin with the arrival of Arab TV," crowed Algeria's independent El Watan, while Malaysia's government-influenced Berita Harian lauded Arab channels for exposing the "false news" offered by Western networks.  As "the most popular channel in the Muslim world," the centrist Times of India conceded, Al Jazeera "represents a different point of view"--one which a Spanish daily termed "more than a stone in the shoe of the Allies."  Many Arab papers accused the U.S. of hypocrisy for criticizing Al Jazeera for showing video of U.S. POWs but not complaining when Western networks broadcast "images of Iraqi prisoners and dead."


'Embedding' reporters: unparalleled access or Pentagon manipulation?--  Some commentators applauded the Pentagon for embedding reporters with troops, saying "never before" have military leaders "allowed such televised transparency."  Others hailed the innovation for providing "the most vivid and direct war reporting ever seen" but added there was "clear evidence that reporters identify with the troops" which could "compromise their journalistic integrity."  An embedded journalist "could not be an objective chronicler even if he wanted to," stated Hungary's liberal Magyar Hirlap.  A Thai daily denounced embedding as a new Pentagon "news-management tactic" while a Zimbabwean paper disparaged the "deafening cacophony of conformist voices" coming from embedded reporters "screeching out the same message...about the might and invincibility" of Coalition forces.   


EDITOR:  Steven Wangsness

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 89 reports from 38 countries, March 26-April 1, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "After The Storm"


The conservative Times editorialized (3/28):  "Both Mr Bush and Mr Blair expressed exasperation yesterday with many of the media pundits.  The Prime Minister conceded that a combination of sporadic but inconvenient resistance and highly adverse weather conditions over the past few days had perhaps deprived the allies of the perception of momentum.  Now that clear skies have returned, it should be possible to demonstrate progress in a visible fashion, he argued."


GERMANY:  "The Great Danger"


Washington correspondent P. Borchardt commented on info radio of Norddeutscher Rundfunk of Hamburg (3/31):  “The great danger for the Bush administration is its credibility gap between the things it says and the things that are really happening....  The credibility gap is now beginning to open, including in the American public.  And it will widen even more the long the war takes, the more victims there will be on both sides, and the more the TV pictures push aside the enthusiasm for war at the beginning.”


"Bush Broadcasting"


Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized (3/27):  “Iraqi state television is not known for its independence; it is a place for spreading government propaganda.  However, to believe this justifies a missile attack requires President Bush’s way of looking at the world.  Bush believes that any action he takes against ‘evil’ is automatically backed by law....  The missiles fired at the Baghdad TV station have damaged the rules of international law....  Anyone who throws civilized conduct overboard while claiming to defend civilization has no ground to stand on."




Right-of-center Thueringer Allgemeine of Erfurt took this view (3/26):  “It appears to be a classic case of war propaganda.  While the British military vaguely alludes to an uprising in Basra, the people in the beleaguered city appear to have no knowledge of such an event.  At least that is what the pictures produced by Al Jazeera seem to indicate.  Then again, these pictures are unreliable as well, because Al Jazeera is the only station still allowed to film in Basra with its own team.  More contradictory stories will emerge over the next few weeks.  The longer this war takes, the more difficult it will be to win support for it and the more tempting it will become to ‘fix’ reality.”


ITALY:  "Saddam’s Final Bet"


Foreign affairs editor Marcello Foa opined in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (3/31):  “When at war, the management of information--and disinformation--is always important...and in the era of TV and Internet communication has become of even more crucial importance.  With respect to the war in Kosovo or the one in Afghanistan, the new development is that unanimity among the American strategists is missing here....  Internal debate usually does not come out from the Pentagon’s thick walls.  But this time irritation is so strong that...some military have begun talking to the press.  And to almost always tell the truth."


RUSSIA:  "Iraqi War Reports More Credible"


Maksim Yusin judged in reformist Izvestiya (3/27):  "Paradoxically, of late Iraqi war reports have sounded more credible than the American.  The Pentagon has more than once been caught spreading obviously false information.   Besides, the Allied command, apparently reluctant to acknowledge its losses, does so too late, measuring the information it feeds to the public....  You have to hand it to Saddam--he has learnt his lesson and tries not to repeat the mistakes of 12 years ago.  Overall, the way the Iraqis have been acting in the week since the start of the war is quite civilized and clever.  Their propaganda is giving Washington a hard time."


"U.S. Propaganda Clumsy"


Aleksandr Reutov commented in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (3/27):  "Against the Iraqis' thought-out propaganda scheme, the Allies' looks unconvincing.  This while the Pentagon has been using the most influential mass media."


BOSNIA:   "War Reporters"


Edin Krehic opined in oldest Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje (3/29):  "A good question, at this moment, is how objective are reports from Iraq.  Saddam Hussein expelled all American reporters.  As expected, his TV is serving his propaganda purposes.  However, it also serves as information provider....  On the other hand, approximately a thousand reporters joined American troops, spending days and nights with them on their way to Baghdad, and the question is how objective can they be considering the circumstances....  There are independent crews as well, however, one of them was already caught in cross-fire and got hurt.  Therefore, a certain reserve of readers, viewers and listeners has to exist.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Saddam’s Successful Tactics"


Pavel Tomasek wrote in the business daily Hospodarske noviny (4/1):  "So far, nothing has been as successful in the military operation in Iraq as Saddam’s war propaganda.  Bodies of killed U.S. and British soldiers and blood-smeared Iraqi civilians are definitely shown more often than pictures of happy Iraqis welcoming the coalition troops.  Blair and Bush are facing a question of how many casualties the public will be willing to put up with....  The Americans still seem to trust their President, but much suggests that things could turn worse."


"Arnett, You Are Fired!"


Martin Zverina commented in the center-right daily Lidove noviny (4/1):  "By firing Peter Arnett, NBC television perhaps wanted to curry flavor with the White House; whether it scored points with their viewers is questionable.  With this approach, NBC casts doubt upon its news coverage and provides further material for all opponents to war, in and outside the U.S.  It is paradoxical to see a medium working hard on its ratings, viewership and credit to destroy it voluntarily in such a way.  Censorship in the 21st century is a childish anachronism."


"War Over TVs"


Petr Masa observed in the centre-right daily Lidove noviny (3/27):  "The Pentagon has prepared itself for the war with Saddam on all fronts including the media.  However something went wrong on the battlefield.  The dictator's units don't surrender in big numbers, and there are no crowds of welcoming Iraqis.  The allies have therefore changed their plan.  Iraqi TV, which was originally intended to remain untouched in order to spread propaganda of a new pro-American administration of the country, was moved to the list of bomb targets.  The fight for freedom of speech has meaning only in time of peace.  During war, the media becomes yet another weapon for both sides.  The U.S. confessed by its attack on the TV that it has not succeeded on this front.  Baghdad simply isn't Hollywood."


DENMARK:  "The Truth"


Center-right Politiken held (3/28):  "It has been said so many times before, that it hardly bears saying again:  The first casualty of war is truth.  The current war is no exception, even though the media has become more aware of attempts to manipulate it....  Today, Western journalists are in the war zone with American and British troops and they have agreed only to report things which the military agree are suitable for publication.  The risks are obvious.  Quite apart from the fact that journalists are limited professionally, it is easy for them to be drawn in to the unit with which they are traveling.  From being impartial observers, they become a part of the war.  This increases the risk of biased impression of the war being presented--something that is intensified by the fact that only the American and British forces are accompanied by journalists....  This [the Embed program] can, to some extent, explain the divide between Western and Arab-country reporting.  This is hardly surprising.  But, we should not allow politicians and military leaders to play games with the tenets of democracy."


"Media War"


Centrist Kristeligt Dagblad opined (3/27):  "America did not lose the Vietnam War in the paddy fields, but on the domestic front.  People simply could no longer stand to seeing the photographs of naked children running away from napalm bombs....  The media have a tendency to present their reports as though they are the [definitive] truth.  But, media reports are always an edited version of the truth."


"Media War"


Centrist Weekendavisen stated (3/28):  "War is about more than troops, bombs and victories.  It is about [public] opinion and that is why media coverage is so important." 


FINLAND:  "Monster Nations"


Tabloid, centrist Ilta-Sanomat commented (3/29):  "The worst thing about this TV war is that even the most naive turn into cynics.  When Saddam Hussein--the man whose secret police was trained in East Germany--begins to praise has to ask what his motives are.  The same is true about President Bush's pathos.  TV images are hiding the basic issue of humankind:  what to do about a tyrant?  To intervene or not to intervene?"


HUNGARY:  "A Reality Show From Iraq"


Pal Tamas concluded in liberal Magyar Hirlap (3/29):  “CNN is full of boring reports, the assigned media workers are busy filming the American units firing their arms and guns in the desert.  A journalist ‘embedded’  this way could not be an objective chronicler even if he wanted to.”


IRELAND:  "Reporting The War Against Iraq"


The center-left Irish Times editorialized (3/29):  "Propaganda and war are inseparable, as we have been forcibly reminded....  The desire to publicise and encourage public credulity led the United States and Britain to 'embed' some 500 journalist in units fighting the war.  As a result, we have had some of the most vivid and direct war reporting ever seen, along with clear evidence that reporters identify with the troops doing the fighting, which can compromise their journalistic integrity....  It is important in these circumstances that readers get an Irish perspective on the war, from a supposedly non-aligned and neutral viewpoint, notwithstanding the Government's agreement that the U.S. military can use Shannon airport.  Only this newspaper and RTE are providing such a perspective."


LITHUANIA:  "The Information Age"


Editor-in-chief Liudvikas Gadeikis observed in political-economical weekly Veidas (3/28):  "This war is clearly showing what the often-mentioned 'information age' really means.  We see that information is a weapon, not less powerful than the modern military equipment.  During the first war in the Persian Gulf, information was very limited.  In this war it is used as a good and trustworthy bat.  We must say that Saddam is better at this, maybe because he has fewer real weapons."


NORWAY:  "Dismal Reminders Of Lost Wars"


Erik Sagflaat commented in the social democratic Dagsavisen (3/30):  “One of the reasons for the war against Iraq is that it shall introduce freedom of speech in Iraq, a freedom that these hawks in Washington now will refuse their own.  The attempt at standardization of the American mass media has the past year and a half been both conspicuous and frightening.  That the war has not gone as easily as the Bush administration’s civilian advisors had believed, can hopefully give them a tiny bit of badly needed sobriety....  In the neo-conservative ideological circles that surround President George W. Bush, Iraq has just been regarded as the first step.  Iran, Libya, Syria and North Korea stand on the candidate list of ‘bandit states’ that one wishes to take over.  That one stumbles in the beginning can have the one good effect that belief in war gives way to other and more civilized means to solve international problems.”


"Bombs Against The Media"


The independent Dagbladet argued (3/27):  “The night before last the TV station in Baghdad was bombed.  The Americans claimed that Iraqi broadcasting was among the targets to be attacked in order to weaken Saddam Hussein’s control of the country....  There is no doubt that the mass media become propaganda instruments during a war, or that the media under Saddam never has been able to operate freely.  It gives, however, no reason to make the media a war target....  When the media become war targets, the journalists are also defined as war participants....  Bombs against the media is a poor argument for democracy and freedom; it is something that the Iraqis also understand, no matter how downtrodden they are by Saddam.”


PORTUGAL:  "Image of War"


Former PSD shadow defense minister Carlos Encarnação opined in Porto-based center-left Jornal de Notícias (3/29):  "A dictatorship can use human shields, can hide grenades and missiles in schools, can violate conventions, can think about and decide to use chemical weapons.  A democracy is committed to waging a clean war, without casualties, without collateral effects, without hitting civilian objectives.  Because of this, no matter how manipulative the images might be, there is always an opportunity to establish the difference."


"The Images That Are Missing"


PSD Euro Parliament member José Pacheco Pereira observed in influential moderate-left Público (3/27):  "Never has any army in combat allowed such televised transparency....  In a conflict like the current one it is easily understandable that the majority of journalists are against the war, and this conditions their reporting.  But American political and military leaders, who essentially created this scheme, did so totally conscious of the risks.  Maybe they think--and this is as risky as all innovative things are--that only in this way could there be a relegitimization of the need for military action by democracies....  If, in an ideal world, television showed the reality of both sides, in the same way and with the same criteria, we would understand the enormous difference in the way war is conducted by a democracy and a dictatorship....  It is a strange Western journalism that says that Al-Jazeera represents the 'Arab perspective'...when it shows civilian victims and doesn't ask itself why, at press conferences with Iraqi leaders, no one--not even those with an 'Arab perspective'--asks the same kind of cynical and tough questions that American journalists are used to doing at the Pentagon....  This model of antiglobalization journalism, so lauded by our anti-Americans, is disinformation.  The missing images aren't in there.  Saddam's violence isn't in there."


ROMANIA:  "The Press War"


Military analyst Cornel Codita opined in financial daily Bursa (3/28):  "The only connection between the military’s war and the press war is pressure.  The pressure created by the images overwhelmingly broadcast by the world TV media, transformed into a sale where the war is sold piece by piece, hour by hour, minute by minute.  This pressure is put on the population and those who decide on the politics.  In a strange way, the politics and the politicians seem forced to choose between the military war and the press war.  Not only Saddam’s fate, but that of the world to be born, might depend on this choice, more than on the results of the military operations which are going on.”


SPAIN:  "Adjusting The Script"


Centrist La Vanguardia asserted (4/1):  "As happened in the first Gulf War in 1991, the control of information, including its manipulation, is turning out to be a key element of the Iraqi military conflict....  But the pressure... to undermine the BBC's coverage of the war, or the bombing of Iraqi television in Baghdad, reveal the existence of a immoderate desire on the part of political power to assure that information about the war follows the official script."


"The War And The Arab World"


Conservative ABC observed (4/1):  "One can't forget in this difficult context the power acquired by the [Arab] anti-U.S. media who are doing work that the Pentagon did not know how to measure.  In contrast to 1991, CNN is not the only reference in this war, not even the main one.  The constant broadcast of Al-Jazeera is more than a stone in the shoe of the Allies....  If this war drags on, the front of Arab public opinion could transform itself into a grave and unforeseen problem for the U.S., which should now activate a solution for the Palestinians, which seemed without hope before."


UKRAINE:  "Who Is Winning The Information War In Iraq?"


Zakhar Butyrsky of Novy Kanal national TV stated on a Hromadske Radio talk show (3/31):  "Ukraine found itself on the anti-Iraqi coalition list...[but] at the same time it seems that officially Ukraine is more on the U.S. side:  Looking at Ukrainian TV news we can see sufficient representation of the American position.  This can be seen by comparing five reports on U.S. military actions to one or none on what the Iraqis are doing or what Saddam Hussein is planning.  Still, the public opinion is turning towards the Iraqi side."




EGYPT:  "Complaint"


Essam Kamel contended in leading opposition Al Wafd (4/1):  “American authorities complain about the bias of Arab media....  The largest result of America’s war on Iraq is that it completely eliminated the myth [about American media].  For years, Americans taught the world about free media, transparency of information, and democratic values but now they are moving in the opposite direction.  Now they are asking for help from the Arab media.  They have launched campaigns of deceit and imposed a media blackout on the American people...and they have even arrested hundreds opposed to the war.  The myth of democracy has been destroyed....  Baghdad demonstrated to the world that the American empire has lost the last of her values, human rights.”




Editor-in-chief Ibrahim Nafie wrote in leading pro-government Al Ahram (3/27):  “The current war in Iraq may be the first war of public opinion during which nations and non-governmental organizations stress their growing role in directing political life in the international community....  If control over the control public opinion...has been part of the past, politicians know that [this is changing].  During Desert Storm, some Arab countries realized the importance of Arab public opinion and allocated major funds to launch TV networks....  Some foreign parties may have implicitly contributed to such media and may be exposed after the war on Iraq ends, as they will launch direct messages at Arab public opinion through these new media.  Is there a way to check this before it is too late?”


SAUDI ARABIA:  "The World's Information Minister"


The English-language Riyadh Daily published this editorial by Abdulwahid Al-Humaid (4/1):  "America went berserk with rage when Iraq TV displayed footage of captured American POWs and of those killed in battle.  In retaliation, the U.S. bombed Iraqi TV and poured scorn on television stations that transmitted the images of those killed....  A few days later, Britain reacted similarly when Al-Jazeera broadcast footage of dead British soldiers....  But the U.S., which says transmitting such footage is against international conventions, never hesitated in showing pictures of Iraqi POWs on TV....  America has already become the world's policeman.  Now it finds itself with a new job...that of being the world's Minister of Information!  It is the U.S. that decides now what can be transmitted and what is not to be broadcast on TV and, of course, everything has to be in accordance with American wishes."


"Resistance Publicity"


Riyadh’s conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (3/31):  "With the presence or absence of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. will face a prolonged resistance....  We have to at least acknowledge that the Arab media entered into the battle of resistance in an acceptable manner and will strive to do better."


"Misleading With Lies"


Dr. Ahmed Al-Rubei offered his commentary in English-language Riyadh Daily (3/30):  "On many of the Arab channels there is a complete suppression of the view and ideas of the Iraqi opposition.  On those channels, when it comes to the Iraqi opposition, there is no credibility and viewers have to be very careful not to fall victim to lies.  Arabs have a long experience of demagogues and today we are reaping the harvest when people are being misled by giving them lies and hiding reality."


"It's Time U.S. Realized Wars Are Not Video Games"


Ibtissam Al-Bassam provided his opinion in a special to English language Arab News (3/29):  "It is sad that the media is covering the war as though it were a video game, and not a war that daily takes the lives of people who will be missed by their families and friends."


"Is It Acceptable To Show Iraqi Captives?"


Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid offered his 'Arab View' in English language Arab News (3/29):  "If the portrayal of the American prisoners on TV was illegal, why then wasn't the same thing said when images of Iraqi prisoners and dead in Umm Qasr where shown on TV only three days earlier?...  If the Americans fear that the images of the prisoners will cause embarrassment to their families and hurt soldiers' feelings, the situation of the Iraqi soldiers is even more dangerous.  For them it could be a question of life or death for their families if the prisoners are identified on screen."


"Keeping Credibility Silent And Promoting Sedition"


Riyadh’s moderate, Al-Jazira published a commentary by the paper’s managing editor Jaser Al-Jaser (3/27):  "The destruction of the Iraqi TV and the building of the Iraqi Ministry of U.S. fighters shows the extent of frustration among the invaders of Iraq....  The Iraqi media approach was characterized by credibility and transparency....  The Arab audience now prefers Al-Arabiya, Abu-Dhabi, Al-Jazeerah and Iraqi satellite TVs rather than the BBC and CNN and have put aside with great contempt Fox News, CBS and others, which have circulated many lies provided to them by the British and American war generals.  The last one (lie) of which was an allegation of an uprising in Basra by the Shia’a community...which purpose was to promote sedition."


ALGERIA:  "The Main Battle"


Independent El Watan, a principal French-language daily, editorialized (3/31):  “One of the major obstacles frustrating U.S. plans in Iraq remains incontestably the media.  The U.S. lost control of media spin with the arrival of Arab TV channels competing with CNN that had complete control during the Gulf war.  The Americans have understood that one of the weaknesses of their military strategy...remains the inability of Anglo-Saxon networks to impose themselves and take part in the communication and image battle in competition with the newcomers.  These channels include Al-Jazira, Abu Dhabi and also Iraqi TV, which has been fiercely attacked by the coalition....  The Iraqi leaders...have completely thrown the leaders of the coalition who are reacting by striking Iraqi TV and the Ministry of Information, and by hunting down correspondents of 'enemy' TV channels.”


SYRIA:  "They Are Lying To Their People!"


An unsigned editorial in government-owned Tishreen stated (4/1):  "American and British politicians and military claim they stopped their land attack out of their great concern to spare Iraqi civilians from harm and preserve their lives, while TV images broadcast images of exploding bombs and missiles in the heart of Iraqi cities....  So how can anyone believe what these Americans and British are saying."


TUNISIA:  "Massacres Of Children And Reversal Of Values"


Editor Hedia Barakat took this view in government-owned French-language Le Renouveau (3/28):  "Images of massacres can fool no one, even if the American misinformation accuses the Iraqi power of 'perpetrating himself this massacre and using civilians as human shields.'...  The whole world is convinced today that this war has nothing to do with 'cleanliness.'"


"The Aggression Against Iraqi TV Is A Crime"


Editor Nejmeddine Akkari reported in independent Arabic-language Ash-Shourouq (3/27):  "According to the president of the Tunisian association of journalists (AJT), 'The aggression against the Iraqi TV is a crime against freedom of expression and the right for information and the opposite opinion.  It is a failed attempt to prevent journalists from doing their jobs and showing that Americans and British forged and defaced the truth.  In its interests, America violates the principles of freedom, democracy and international laws.'"


UAE:  "Problems With Arab TV"


Columnist Abdulla Rasheed complained in Abu Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad (3/31):  "We receive around 60 Arab satellite channels, half are reporting the war in Iraq for almost 24 hours day and night, but I am sure that we cannot find two channels that agree on one point or one piece of information."


"Really Sad Satellite Channels"


Columnist Dr. Shamlan Yousef Al Eissa contended in Abu Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad (3/30):  "The really sad issue is that our Gulf satellite channels have given over their management to Arab expatriates, who placed their benefits and the benefit of their countries above the benefits of people of the Gulf and the Western coalition countries that share important and complicated economical, commercial, and security relations with Gulf countries.  People of the Gulf today are committing the same mistake the Kuwaitis did right before the second Gulf war, when the Kuwaiti press was manned by our Arab brothers who made our press a forum for inter-Arab conflicts at the time, without taking into consideration Kuwait's ultimate interests and for which Kuwait paid dearly."


"Blessed Satellite Cavalry"


Ibn Al Deera wrote in Al Khaleej (3/30):  "Professionalism and objectivity is badly required in the coverage of Arab satellite channels.  It is also necessary that they not succumb to the traps laid by the psychological media war fabricated by the United States.  Victories achieved by local and Arab satellite channels should not be obstructed or distorted by America.  The aim of the American campaign against our Arab satellite channels is to black out scenes of their miseries....  Blessings on the courageous reporters of the Arab satellite channels: 'Abu Dhabi,' 'Sharjah,' 'Dubai,' 'Al Jazeera,' and 'Al Arabiyya' and most of the Arab satellite channels!"




AUSTRALIA:  "War On Ground, And In The Mind"


Liberal Sydney Morning Herald editorialized (3/29):  "No war has ever been the world's war in the way this one is.  The world's people watch the conflict as it unfolds.  The information is disjointed and distorted by propaganda....  Even where coalition victory is close, as at Umm Qasr, disharmony is souring it....  Such disagreement is small compared with what could lie ahead.  But it is symbolic of a difference in aims and approaches which could test the Anglo-American alliance in other ways, such as military strategy, the longer the war drags on."


MALAYSIA:  "Credibility Of U.S. Media Giants Tarnished"


Government-influenced Malay-language daily Berita Harian had the following to say (3/28):  "The television networks, CNN, CNBC and Fox News are guilty of promoting false news by showing only the good side of the war in Iraq and portraying the idea that losses are only being suffered by the other side.  If there are American officers who are lying to them, these television networks are still reporting it as the truth.  This biased reporting is part of the psychological warfare that wants to maintain the support of the American public for the war effort....  At this time there are a few mainstream American newspapers that have provided balanced reports when the networks cannot do so.  (American) satellite television which views competitors such as al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV as small time players, are having their credibility diminished when their lies are exposed."


PHILIPPINES:  "The 'Media War'"


Former Asian Institute of Journalism chief Florangel Rosario-Braid noted in her column in the conservative Manila Bulletin (4/1):  "The most positive influence of the media is that of mobilizing anti-war and peace groups all over the world to call for an end to war.  This network of peace advocates should be sustained by the media even after the war has ended."


"Propaganda In The Midst Of War"


Hern Zeñarosa commented the conservative Manila Bulletin (4/1):  "As most people may already know, both camps in the U.S.-Iraq war are currently embroiled not only in life and death struggle but more and more in the vicious battle for the hearts and minds of the world.  It is a dangerous battle because as a war measure, it involves distortions of truth that could falsify public perception of what is actually going on.  I am referring to the propaganda being whipped into frenzy by both the warring forces of George Bush and Saddam Hussein.  Instead of information on what is really happening on the warfront, what the people get are conflicting claims by spokesmen of the U.S.-British and Iraqi commands.  As you may well know, if accurate information is not available, rumors fill the void, ominously, as it were.  And that is alarming for a world already teetering on the brink of violent anger.  That the independent international media organizations become unwitting tools of such canard is deplorable but they, too, may be helpless under the circumstances."


"Bush Gets A Propaganda Beating"


Jesus Sison wrote in the anti-administration Malaya (4/1):  "U.S. President George W. Bush is getting a severe bashing from anti-war demonstrators.  Bush is being portrayed in the protest marches as the villain and, consequently, Iraq President Saddam Hussein as the underdog and martyr.  Somehow, this is very strange.  The heroes are supposed to be the U.S.-led coalition forces because they are supposed free the Iraqi people from Saddam....  It seems that the Americans and the British are lagging in the propaganda war."


"Troops Will Behave"


Dodi Limcaoco wrote in the independent Manila Standard (3/31):  "They made the right decision [to embed reporters]....  They trust the media.  The media has...shown itself worthy of its trust....  They trust the public.  They saw the world as a mature audience....  They trust their own troops.  It's one thing to say that the troops will behave...and another to prove allowing every action to be seen live around the world....  They trust the war' outcome....  So confident of victory is the coalition that they are willing to give the world a ringside seat in their crusade."


"Guarantor For Restraint"


Gary Olivar asserted in the independent Philippine Star (3/31):  "In fact, the casualties have been surprisingly light....  The guarantor for this unprecedented restraint has been the pervasive presence of the media at all levels of the conflict....  The phenomenon of 24-hour news coverage is forcing everyone--even Saddam--to try to behave in a civilized way."


"Winning The Propaganda"


Teodoro Benigno took this view in the independent Philippine Star (3/31):  "It has become a psychological war.  And here media plays a central role....  Saddam Hussein and his generals were winning the propaganda and psychological war.  Al Jazeera...zoomed on children, mothers, old people, dead or dying, dismembered, agonizing in hospitals.  The question many asked was this:  How can America...wantonly kill, decapitate the very people it seeks to liberate?"


"Battle For Hearts And Minds"


Sonny Coloma wrote in leading business newspaper BusinessWorld (3/28):  "As the war in Iraq rages is becoming less and less a battle of weapons and technology--and more and more a battle for hearts and minds.  Aware that he is being demonized by the U.S., Saddam Hussein claims his own daily share of airtime and unleashes his own unique brand of psychological warfare on an adversary that is so confident of ultimate victory."


"Hard Talk"


Rod Dula judged in the anti-administration Malaya (3/28):  "They bombed Iraqi TV?  Then the Western network crews that have been shamelessly singing their praises and peddling their lies round the clock deserve no mercy from the enemy either.  All right, perhaps not the BBC whose reporting thus far has been balanced.  But the others have only themselves to blame for having become fair game."


THAILAND:  "Images Versus Reality In The Iraq Media War"


Jeerawat Na Talang commented in independent, English language The Nation (3/29):  "Saddam won another critical battle in war of images when prisoners of war were paraded on a tape broadcast via al-Jazeera.  The trembling American POWs facing the camera in the video gave Saddam an edge, raising questions around the globe about the justification of sending these young men and women to Iraq.  The U.S. and the British have come out to denounce this unfair treatment of the POWs as violating the Geneva Convention.  Yet the harsh reality is that Saddam enjoys supremacy over CNN and BBC....  Bush and Blair announced recently that the allied forces have now made steady progress.  Eventually, the allied forces may capture Baghdad and declare victory.  That will be one reality of this war.  But one more long-lasting image might be those of tearful toddlers with bandaged heads, tired soldiers and frightened prisoners.  Which one is more ‘real’ is open to debate.”


"Be Warned: This Is An 'Embedded' War Report"


Suthichai Yoon commented in independent, English-language The Nation (3/27):  “If the ongoing Iraq war isn’t like any other war with its extensive ‘shock and awe’ tactics, then the current reporting from the war front isn’t like any other in the history of journalism either.  You get an eerie kind of feeling when a journalist who ‘embeds’ himself with the soldiers starts talking like a military spokesman....  This is a war not only of military confrontation.  It’s a propaganda war in its crudest form on both sides.  The Pentagon looked at how public opinion back home brought about defeat in the Vietnam war and decided that history wasn’t going to repeat itself....  This time around, Washington’s huge propaganda machine devised a new news-management tactic: up-close media coverage, but on their terms....  The military and political planners at the White House and U.S. Department of Defense obviously wanted the reports from the ‘embeds’ to hit two main targets: public opinion at home and the minds of the Iraqi commanders.  News management was their priority.  But for journalists, public trust and editorial independence might just fall victim to the overwhelming, defeating bombardment in the war zone.  George W. Bush, in the wake of world-wide anti-war demonstrations, thinks he can use dramatic TV pictures as part of his modern-day arsenal too.”


"Gulf War Reports: A One-Sided Story"


Pravit Rojanaphruk commented in independent, English language The Nation (3/27):  "However, CNN has not bothered to embed journalists with the global anti-war protesters.  All these millions of people around the world deserve is brief sound bites and pictures lasting a few seconds without any in-depth argument.  They are reduced to passive numbers, like the numbers of those killed or injured....  Most hypocritical is that...CNN refused to air footage of the POWs and allies killed because they claimed it was ‘disturbing’.  Just two hours later, CNN suddenly began broadcasting parts of the pictures which is in violation of the Geneva convention.  And, what can be said about the ‘non-prisoners of war’ at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba?”


VIETNAM:  "Shock To Whom?"


Pham Dan Thanh commented in the Ho Chi Minh City's Labor Federation daily Nguoi Lao Dong (3/30):  "Images of dead U.S. and British soldiers on the television screen as well as information of heavy resistance from Iraqi military while the Iraqi government still controls the situation are really a shock to war planners in Washington and London.  A political and military game of risk is waiting for Bush and Blair."



INDIA:  "Noose On News"


Pro-BJP right-of-center The Pioneer held (3/31):  "It must be a matter of concern to Western media establishments, CNN and BBC in particular, that anti-war protesters across the world have not only been demanding an immediate end to the conflict but also to biased reporting....  The dilemma has been caused by a series of reports in recent days that have turned out to be highly exaggerated or even outrightly false.  The much-touted civil uprising in Basra, the alleged swift occupation of Nasiriya, and the purported discovery of a chemical factory near Najaf rank among the more spectacular goof-ups.  Clearly, the news managers of Western media organizations seem to be under some pressure to tailor news to the expectations aroused among the people before the conflict commenced....  In this age of fierce competition, people can easily choose between various media platforms; as the present war shows, Arabs are turning in droves to Al-Jazeera and other Gulf-based channels.  It would be preposterous to suggest that these channels are any more objective than their Western counterparts.  In fact, concern for objectivity or ethics probably bothers them less.  But, once news is perceived to have a high dose of subjective content, it becomes an issue of my bias versus yours."


"Picture Imperfect"


The centrist Times of India contended (3/31):  "Today, like it or not, Al Jazeera is the most popular channel in the Muslim world.  It represents a different point of view from the Western media.  By shutting it out, the so-called dispensers of democracy cannot hope to understand the aspirations of the millions of people whom it hopes to engage with in the future."


"War Room Rumblings"


The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (3/31):  "The 'public affairs' component of the 'effects-based campaign' strategy had counted on a synergy of aims between the military and the media.  This may not have worked to the desired degree partly on account of the presence of an Arabic station like Al Jazeera which claims to cover 'both sides of the war.'...  BBC news chiefs have met recently to discuss the increasing problem of 'misinformation coming out of Iraq', and underlined that their correspondents should clearly attribute information to the military in the interest of balanced coverage."


"Collateral Truths"


The centrist Times of India held (3/28):  "The first internationally televised war, brought to you courtesy the Pentagon...has a bit of everything....  Breathless correspondents in flak jackets 'embedded' in various army units, spectacular pyrotechnics over the Baghdad skyline, impressive heavy armament on the move....  Among the very few reports that have cared to touch on the human element of this war, the most notable have been on-the-spot despatches from Robert Fisk, whose vivid accounts of Iraqi casualties chronicle a war untold.  As Fisk says, 'The reality of war is ultimately not about military victory and defeat.... primarily about suffering.'"


"Battlefield Iraq"


Jug Suraiya contended in the Times of India (3/28):  "It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.  Where have all the real heroes gone?  Whatever warts history later discovered, there once were heroes.  Roosevelt...Churchill...our own Nehru....  TV's in-your-face voyeurism strips heroism of its mystique, its sepia ambiguity.  In action replay the hero can be seen to fumble, contradict himself, pick his nose.  War is often seen--erroneously so, say those who have been in one--as the ultimate crucible of heroism....  But there appears to be an unforeseen glitch.  The conquering hero needs to be hailed by those in whose name he has performed his acts, shown grace under fire: The grainy documentaries of World War II showed liberated civilian populations....  This has yet to happen in Iraq.  Much though they might hate and fear Saddam, the local populace seems even more fearful of its self-styled liberators."


PAKISTAN:  "Al-Jazeera And The American Aggression"


Faisal Bodi penned this op-ed in the Peshawar-based daily The Statesman (3/29):  "I do not mean to brag--people are turning to us simply because the Western media coverage has been so poor....  Of all the major global networks, al-Jazeera has been alone in proceeding from the premise that this war should be viewed as an illegal enterprise.  It has broadcast the horror of the bombing campaign, the blown-out brains, the blood-spattered pavements, the screaming infants and the corpses.  Its team of on-the-ground, unembedded correspondents has provided a corrective to the official line that the campaign is, barring occasional resistance, going to plan."


"Media War"


Peshawar-based independent Frontier Post editorialized (3/29):  "This assault against the Arab and Iraqi TV and radio channels flies in the face of the unabashed manner in which Western and U.S. channels are conducting their war coverage....  Of course, no sane person can condone the presentation of pictures of bodies of troops killed in the war.  But at the same time, no one can appreciate the sights of infamy perpetrated by the U.S.-led juggernaut on the Iraqi civilians as well as presentation of condemnable pictures of handcuffed Iraqi prisoners and those apparently surrendering to the invading forces.  When a thoroughly unjustified, unlawful and illegitimate war is launched to subjugate the people of a sovereign state, the invaders do not have any moral ground to propound the issue of fair play or adherence to law.  Be that as it may, it is however expected that the international media covering this war will comply with the norms of journalism and refrain from becoming a partisan party."


"Politics of Control"


The centrist national daily The News had this view (3/28):  "There is clearly much more to this war then the noble intentions of liberating Iraqi people from a brutal dictator....  But, the good thing is that this issue has become so much a focus of media attention, that U.S. might have to be a bit careful about it if it wants to prove to anyone in the world that the only reason for this war was to help Iraqi people and prevent a terrorist threat to the U.S....  Al-Jazeera indeed has provided an impressive challenge both to the western media as well as the U.S. government.  If one was to rely on the U.S. media channels alone, then by now most of us will be convinced that the allied forces are so careful about civilian lives that hardly any causalities are taking place, there are rising rebellions against Saddam, and that it is turning out to be a very quick and clean war.  But, Al-Jazeera coverage is showing that war is never bloodless.  And blood of many Iraqi civilians is spilling for sure."


"Battle For The Airwaves"


Karachi-based independent national daily Dawn editorialized (3/28):  "The U.S. is particularly irked by coverage of the Iraq war by the independent Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel, which is emerging as a credible alternative to the monopoly of the western media....  However, footage of civilian Iraqi casualties and of dead American soldiers directly clash with the sanitized picture of the war that the U.S. media tend to depict....  The growing sensitivity of the U.S. military to the other side was evident from the bombing of the Baghdad TV station....  The truth of the matter is that wars today are increasingly being fought under the glare of the media, making it much more difficult to effectively manage war news.  Given this change, it is difficult to see why the expression of a multiplicity of views on the media should pose such a threat to the U.S.'




SOUTH AFRICA:  "Enemies Of Decency"


Liberal weekly Mail & Guardian editorialized (3/28):  "War is war and no amount of perfumery will remove its stink.  This war...has a particularly pungent stench about it.  Whereas the Pentagon strategists had hoped to use the immediacy of live television to score psychological victories it has, instead, increased the anger of all decent human beings."


ZIMBABWE:  "U. S., UK Seek To Silence Iraqis"


Tafataona Mahoso judged in government-controlled weekly The Sunday Mail (3/30):  “On March 26, the U. S. and the UK authorized, carried out and tried to justify the bombing of the Iraqi television system.  This act followed a similar one...when NATO forces bombed and destroyed Serbian television studios in Belgrade...killing at least 20 journalists....  These two cases indicate that, when it suits them, the imperialist powers will not hesitate to trash their own usual slogans about free flow of information, free flow of ideas, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.  For in these two cases the imperialist powers demonstrated that they do not believe in fighting ideas with ideas, fighting information (or disinformation) with information or even allowing good information and truth to compete in ‘the free market of ideas’ against bad information and against lies.  They had to silence the people of Yugoslavia and Iraq in order to prevent ‘bad ideas’ from being heard around the world."


"View From America"


Patricia McFadden argued in the pro-government weekly The Sunday Mirror (3/30):  “The majority of U.S. journalists reporting on the war in Iraq at the present time are ‘embedded’ within the structures of the U.S. army...showing only what the U.S. military will allow them to show (so for example we do not see any Iraqi casualties even after a week of persistent bombing and destruction with hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs and cruise missiles); and television stations that have dared to show pictures that ‘undermine’ U. S. interests--such as El Jezira (sic), have had their journalists expelled from certain media sites in the U.S.  All one gets is a deafening cacophony of conformist voices, screeching out the same message over and over about the might and invincibility of the ‘coalition’ forces, and the inevitability of the fall of Baghdad.  It’s like playing 'cowboys and Indians’--with the foreknowledge that the cowboys must win, and there simply cannot be any other outcome to this infamy."


"The Battle Of Hearts And Minds In Baghdad"


The Sunday Mirror carried Tendai Chari’s opinion piece (3/30):  “The war in Iraq is being fought in two fronts, the battlefield and in the minds of the people via propaganda.  It is worrisome that the media are at this stage obsessed with capturing events in the battlefield as if the whole world is now agreed that the war against Iraq is justified....  Military control of the media is immoral and a transgression of journalistic ethics.  At the end of the day the news that we get is contaminated with the military’s points of view.  Manipulation of the media by the invading forces poses the gravest threat to media freedom and independence."


"Al Jazeera And The War In Iraq"


Pro-government weekly The Sunday Mirror stated (3/30):  "The UK/U.S. propaganda war strategy has suffered a major setback with Al Jazeera’s prominent and competing coverage of the war in Iraq.  While the U.S. has bludgeoned virtually everyone with high-sounding claims of its avowed support for media freedom, events currently unfolding do not exactly manifest Uncle Sam’s love for press freedom.  On March 24, Al Jazeera launched an English-language Web site that almost immediately fell victim to hackers....  All this because Al Jazeera has broken the U.S./UK propaganda monopoly....  While the U.S. and its allies were absolutely unchallenged on the propaganda battlefront in the 1991 Gulf War, this time round the world can be assured of an alternative view on the ongoing war.”


"Humanitarian Disaster In Iraq"


Pro-government The Daily Mirror held (3/27):  "The stories and reports of U.S. and Britain carpet bombing Baghdad and other Iraq cities...are graphically compelling.  With ‘live’ television coverage of the war from the ‘embedded’ reporters and cameramen and women, the media have apparently forgotten to tell us the grim realities of the other side of the story--the immense suffering of civilian men, women and children during the course of this war."




BRAZIL:  "Foxification"


TV critic Nelson de Sa commented in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (4/1):  "It does not matter to CNN and Fox News whether the U.S.-UK press information they disseminate is true or not.  A few days ago, Fox announced the discovery of chemical weapons.  A denial issued by a general at the Pentagon was not reported.  Based on British sources, CNN played up the capture of an Iraqi general.  A denial issued by the UK's secretary of defense was not reported either.  The chain of half-truths and worse has no end....  Dissonant media voices have been shut down by patriotic criticism.  Peter Arnett made a mistake by saying what he thought in an interview and was fired....  The interview was broadcast several times, like a witch hunt.  There is no longer any separation between television and the government in American coverage.  News channels are engaged in what has already been called 'Foxification.'"


"War Games"


University professors Regina Madalozzo and Marcelo Moura commented in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (3/31):  "The USG is conducting the war based on [U.S.] public opinion.  However, the American people have been much less informed about this war than the French, for instance.  The U.S. media is not publishing much news about international protests and prisoners."


"The Victim In The News War"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo political columnist Clovis Rossi wrote (3/30):  "U.S. journalism is losing the war.  What makes this defeat particularly serious is the fact that the U.S. media is seen as a model around the world, especially in Brazil.  It is a model that became respected during the Vietnam War, when independence and criticism were exercised in extremely delicate circumstances....  Currently, we cannot say the same.  In the case of the bombing of a market in Baghdad on Wednesday, BBC's coverage was much more appropriate and informative [than that of the U.S. media]."


"The First Victim"


Columnist Miriam Leitão argued in right-of-center O Globo (3/29):  "It's frightening all that's occurring in the relation between the press and war:  Al-Jazeera's being ousted from the New York stock market, the attempts to intimidate artists, the press' monochord tone and its submission to the Pentagon censorship, all this shakes up values bravely defended at more critical moments.  It's good to remember that this submissive press is the same one that has made Pentagon papers public, giving the world a lesson on the difference between the interests of the country and those the government at that moment."


MEXICO:  "Arab TV:  The Other Battle"


Monica Gutierrez asserted in independent El Norte (3/31):  “The media, in particular, television, turn to objectivity and truth as a pretext to broadcast footage that attack the dignity of any human being....  War is not only won in the battlefields and the media plays a very important role in the management of public opinion.  Unfortunately, reality is very different from what is presented through the television newscast and we will only know it when this war has concluded.”


"Television:  War Coverage"


Academic Fernando Esquivel observed in independent El Norte (3/30):  “For patriotism or censorship, the largest U.S. television networks could be sowing an information war, whose the...lack of credibility.”


"TV War"


Sergio Sarmiento contended in independent Reforma (3/28):  “Has this war turned into an immoral spectacle for the media?   Has constant and intense coverage of this war generated a lack of feeling toward what people are suffering in Iraq?   The greatest risk is not that the media will continue to cover the war with the same degree of intensity, but that they will stop doing so.  The next time we are horrified by an image on our television screens or by a photos in the newspapers, let’s remember that it is precisely this type of information that enables us to react with sensitivity to the tragedy of war.”


"Bush The Hacker"


Left-of-center La Jornada editorialized (3/28):  "(The USG) has been closing the informative limits and it has re-established implicitly or explicitly agreements with the consortia owners of the media, in order to manipulate all the coverage of war--made by the American media and journalists of other countries....  Washington has begun an outrageous and shameful campaign against the broadcasting station Al Jazeera, distinguished by its professionalism, its sense of journalism pertinence and its independence to the face of public authorities and rival factions....  This broadcasting station has suffered, in recent days, all kind of informative attacks like the illegal blocking of its servers by hackers at the service of Bush, the denial of American business to provide them internet connection and finally the expulsion of its correspondents from the New York Stock Market....  This illegal persecution against an informative media reveals up to what point  the Bush administration  and its warlike adventure in Iraq have become vulnerable to the diffusion of truth in Iraq."


"U.S. Press:  Back To The Past?"


Jorge Fernandez Menendez commented in nationalist Milenio (3/28):  "It is very sad what is happening with the American media in the coverage of the war in Iraq.  The New York Times gave the tone when it published in its institutional editorial--on the day that the bombing of Baghdad began--that the controversies with the USG concerning the war (had finished) and now it should join to the USG and to the soldiers who would fight in Iraq.  Almost all American media said pretty much the same.  Those media failed in two things: they subordinated their opinions and independence to a false patriotism, from this moment the have made many mistakes in the coverage of war in Iraq....  What we have in American media is the result of two mistakes: a false patriotism measured by the popularity indexes of the military intervention combined with the ambition of heading the coverage of the military advance at the cost of their editorial independence....  The most obvious case is CNN.  We expected it (the lack of independence) from other media like Fox because it has been always marked by its tendentious information, clearly conservative and sensationalist."


"The First Week"


Left-of-center La Jornada editorialized (3/27):  “Today, the credibility of the American mass media has fallen in the face of world public opinion.  They have spread false information like the capture of cities, they have made up non-existent revolts, in brief they have knocked down truth and informative independence in a way that reminds us the performance of Soviet Union official newspapers in Stalin’s times, and also the disinformation campaigns organized by Nazi Germany.”


"The End Of Freedom"


Sergio Sarmiento wrote in independent Reforma (3/27):  "One of the great strengths of the USA has always been its tradition of free expression.  Now, however, this freedom is deteriorating as a consequence of the war in Iraq.  The majority of U.S. media outlets have begun to transmit propaganda.  It is true that censorship is worse in Iraq than in the United States.  Despite attempts to silence him, filmmaker Michael Moore was able to publicly insult President Bush at the Oscars…[while] a critic of Saddam Hussein on Iraqi television surely would have been shot.  But the current situation, in which Americans must turn to the foreign media to learn what is happening in the war, is a severe blow for a nation that had the greatest freedom of expression in the world for a long time."


"The Other Wars"


Bruno Ferrari asserted in independent El Norte (3/27):  “Once again it becomes urgent to develop a critical sense for those of us who are recipients of information from the media that later is presented as news....  It is important that every one of us fight their own war, a war in search of the truth, a war whose main weapons are the understanding of men, dialogue and the search of peace.  The enemy will always be indifference, lies and manipulation.”


"War And The Media"


Independent Vanguardia observed (3/27):  "Information becomes an element that directly influences the mood of the citizens (in favor or against war), its management gains a strategic characteristic, in particular, the way it is presented and the space given....  In the last days, several analysts...have expressed serious doubts if the actions of the main news networks have not become militant (actions).  If this was really occurring, we would need to know if it’s a decision of their own or the response to a government request....  The media have the responsibility to prevent freedom of expression from becoming one of the victims of this war.”


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  "In Support Of The Right To Accurate Information"


Victor Mañana contended in establishment, pro-business, lead morning daily, Listin Diario (3/28):  “Newscasters show themselves on TV with more pride than the soldiers risking their lives in the war....  Evidently [their] news was biased, prejudiced, one-sided....  I urge new take advantage of the immense experience the Iraq war can afford them...for, in a war, despite wishes and ideologies, there is reality, which is that the dead leave behind mourners in any language, not only in English....  And that does not mean we sympathize with Saddam or his regime, with his crimes and abuses against the Kurds or his own people, but we defend the right to information that all people have in a war that is not a cartoon but a serious scenario that could be the source of a bigger conflict....  That is why we insist on the right to unbiased information, to what people deserve, a journalistic ethic without atrocious images to condemn some and screen others from complicity to protect others.”


GUATEMALA:  "War And Freedom Of The Press"


Columnist Haroldo Shetemul commented in moderate, leading Guatemala City daily Prensa Libre (3/31):  "Americans are far from knowing the truth about the war....  Is there freedom of the press in the freest country in the world?....  A single datum is enough: the 500 journalists embedded with the troops in Iraq are subject to 12 pages of rules imposed by the Pentagon for covering the conflict....  CNN and FOX have an editorial policy hewing to the White House war rules.  Of course, both channels have every right to make public what they consider relevant....  However, they should not sell us as information what is really war propaganda....  If the war drags out for months, the million-dollar questions is, what will the Pentagon do to hold back the truth about the war and avoid Vietnam syndrome among the American people?"


"The Press And The War"


Gonzalo de Villa argued in influential morning daily El Periodico (3/28):  "In all wars the weight of the media has been great and journalism becomes the source of information, as well as propaganda for a specific cause....  The control of information is important in all wars and freedom of the press suffers significantly.  Some accept this in the name of patriotism; others resign themselves because they have no alternatives.  In any case, the media and journalists in different war fronts...experience the risks of war, although evidently they may also obtain important benefits.”


PARAGUAY:  "The Two Wars"


Business-oriented Asuncion daily La Nacion stated (3/30):  "What's more, the Pentagon wants to bomb Iraqi television and a general edits the news of CNN, so that they can only show what is politically correct.  The war in Iraq is carried out on two fronts....  The truth must be fought for."


TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:  "Strike Against Saddam" 


Robert Clarke wrote in the conservative Trinidad Guardian (3/27):  "Whichever way war goes, and we all know which way that will be, Saddam, in a sense, will have won....  Because what we are seeing in this televised war is not a dictator's torturous ways but something better known in local parlance as advantage....  Alongside the war of bullets, being fought live on cable news, is a secondary war of propaganda.  It is a war of justification and support for an aggressive U.S. regime, which, seemingly unbeknownst to network news channels, is betrayed by the very violence it presents.  But that secondary war is being lost because stories are seeping out--of little girls with shrapnel in their spines.  And not even the complicity of the cable news media can stop the hemorrhage."


"Propaganda Wars"


Tony Fraser opined in the conservative Trinidad Guardian (3/27):  "The propaganda war against Iraq is being waged as ferociously as the bombing of Baghdad....  A snapshot examination of this propaganda war should be interesting, even entertaining at times.  'Skilful and courageous' soldiers are opposed to 'fanatics'...  Then there was this righteous 'war' to be fought by the 'coalition' forces--what war; when the U.S. and British possess truly 'weapons of mass destruction' that have been decimating the infrastructure of Baghdad, and for all we know killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis?  Can that be described as 'war'?...  Guerrilla warfare is referred to disparagingly, because according to the script, the Iraqi soldiers were supposed to surrender or be annihilated by the bombs.  I leave this possibility to hang for the moment: can Bush and Blair be laying the ground for large segments of humanity to be separated into hostile Islamic and Christian camps?"


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