Mass Joy for Mass Media

Most of you have already seen the jubilant crowd of Baghdad’s residents taking down the bronze statue of Saddam Hussein in the downtown Baghdad. In reality this “monumental event” turned out be just as illusory as coalition’s proclaimed control of the Iraqi capitol.

Every television news network in the world concentrated on the Fardus Square in Baghdad. Located across the Palestine hotel – home to dozens of foreign journalists reporting from Baghdad – until recently the Fardus Square was dominated by a huge bronze statue of Saddam Hussein.

Surrounded by what appeared to be a sizable crowd of Iraqis a US tank recovery vehicle was pulling on the cable tied around the statue until it came down to the delight of the cheering crowd. Television networks showed jubilant Iraqis jumping on the US tank recovery vehicle apparently to thank its driver for taking down the statue. Later we observed a group of Iraqis pulling the statue’s head down the street.

It was difficult not to wonder why the US soldier driving the tracked vehicle that took down the statue appeared to be so relaxed surrounded by a mob of Iraqis. Elsewhere in Iraq US soldiers frequently open fire on civilians approaching checkpoints. But here in Baghdad, where thousands of Iraqi troops are still battling the US forces, a US armored vehicle with a single unarmed soldier in it was surrounded by a crowd of cheering Iraqis and the soldier did not appear to be particularly concerned.

In the end the big picture (literally) revealed the true events that took place on the Fardus Square: the square was surrounded by the US tanks and the “jubilant crowd” turned out to be two dozen of Iraqis, some of which were recognized as Iraqi opposition members delivered to Iraq by Pentagon just days earlier.

Several strategically placed cameras created an impression of a large crowd. Iraqis cheering US troops in Baghdad – just another “Potemkin village” staged by the Pentagon PR teams. Meanwhile the “official” US casualties in Iraq have reached 105 killed, 399 wounded and 18 missing. The war is over. Maybe not. . .

See: Fake ‘Dancing in the Streets’ – Free Iraqi Forces Get Around