Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The NYTimes is reporting that 11 journalists have been killed so far in 21 days of war. Also, there have been about 90 U.S. military casualties to date. During the first Gulf War there were no journalists among the casualties. Is this an indication that the glut of media coverage that we have come to expect today is forcing more journalists to continuously stick their necks out in order to get the story first and constantly up the ante with more and better graphic coverage? Perhaps this is the inevitable result of the "reality TV" fad right now where we expect to see all aspects of the war live as it happens. And unfortunately, this has not sated our appetite for more and more "reality" no matter how bloody and horrifying, not anymore than the Roman's lust for blood was sated by the gladiator fights in the coliseums.

Even with as much news coverage as we are getting, it is still almost impossible to know for sure what is really happening at any given moment. Is Saddam Hussein dead now? Didn't they report that he was dead several weeks ago? And if he wasn't killed by the latest bombing, who was? Was our intelligence wrong again? Who is feeding us this information and why? Pretty disturbing to think that there is someone over there who has the power to direct our bombers to let loose with 2,000 pound bunker busters on 12-minutes notice at their whim. Are they taking out rival factions or getting pay back on their enemies by manipulating our desire to get Saddam?

Then there are the supposed chemical weapons discovered yesterday. Or were they just old cannisters of pesticides? Whatever was in the containers, it reportedly was not "weaponized" so does that still mean it would be illegal under the U.N. inspections program? And what happens if we never do find any "weapons of mass destruction"? Won't that make it that much harder to win back the trust and support of the rest of the world opposed to this pre-emptive military action?

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