OPINION

Hiding nasty truths

The USA «is making every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm,» US President George W. Bush reassured conscripts in Florida earlier this week. Several hours had already passed since two cruise missiles struck a busy market in a poor neighborhood in Baghdad, «liberating» dozens of Iraqis from their futile lives. However, there was evidently not enough time for the news of the event to travel from Iraq to Florida. And so neither Bush himself had been briefed, nor his audience. In any case, American TV channels – fanatics of exhaustive reports – always obey the rule of not broadcasting footage of corpses so as not to overexcite their viewers. «Embedded journalism» is obliged to tell five lies for every truth that it hides. Besides, even if Bush had wanted to, he couldn’t have been informed by Iraqi television because he had bombed the TV station’s premises (as he had done in Serbia a few years before). «The bombing of a television station simply because it is being used for the purposes of propaganda is unacceptable. It is a civilian object, and thus protected under international humanitarian law,» Claudio Cordone, senior director for international law at Amnesty International said after the attack. But his statement will probably take years to reach the ears of President Bush and the sensitive antennae of American TV channels – two of which, ABS and NBC, are known to belong to weapons manufacturers and so obviously have every reason to enthusiastically pursue peace…