recent violence in Fallujah stems from an incident last week when four
Americans, identified in the media as "civilian contractors" were killed,
dragged from their vehicles and their bodies burnt and dismembered. Now
outrage over this incident in the US has been overwhelming with few pundits
concealing the true motive behind the military response as being one of
But is it possible that the media has just been complicit with the Pentagon in whipping up a bloodlust among its viewers?
Consider that, seldom mentioned in the media is that the four dead were far from mere civilians, even though they're invariably referred to as such in media broadcasts. These men were actually employees of one of 20 so-called security companies currently operating in Iraq.
According to an article by Time Online, their particular company, Blackwater, recruits and trains primarily from the ranks of active-duty special-forces units—particularly Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Delta Force troops. Can such militia honestly be described as "civilians"? Of course not. But the public indignation was never tempered by such revelations because the major networks have said very little about it.
What is certain, however is that the wave of anger will certainly act as a cushion against any news of Iraqi civilian and US military casualties that are sure to result from this inevitable confrontation.
Furthermore the media is also by its mislabeling of these men, helping once again to protect the US government from charges that it has violated yet another international treaty.
Just to put things in perspective, take a walk down to your nearest shopping mall. Look for the guy dozing behind the information desk and see what a real "civilian security guard" looks like: no body armour, no M16.
Kernahan is a writer with special interest in International
politics in the post 9/11 era. He can be reached at:
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