Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The air war in Iraq

I like Tom Engelhardt's piece in Mother Jones about America's air strikes in Iraq -- and the lack of media attention to "the loosing of air power on heavily populated urban areas" in that country. This is kind of a big deal. We're talking about F-16 jet fighters and helicopter gunships here. It's a great example of the way in which the supposedly "independent" media can report on a story, but in a very limited way, and absent any framing by journalists of this issue as morally questionable (to say the least). That's why Engelhardt can say, quite seriously, that this is "the great missing story of the postwar war." It is surprisingly easy to "bury" information within the media flow -- just by de-emphasizing it and placing it in an acceptable frame. Even when an Iraq story "breaks" big -- think Abu Ghraib -- it very quickly gets de-emphasized and placed in an acceptable frame. This might change, a little, if there is a real ground shift in elite opinion about the conduct and necessity of the war. Just don't hold your breath.


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