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Was Iraqi Jubiliation Staged?(21 posts)

Was Iraqi Jubiliation Staged?czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 3:40 PM
When it comes to images of lawlessness and looting in newly liberated Iraq, Rumsfeld has a keen eye for the manner in which repeated snapshots may create false impressions:

    "The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over and over and over. . .and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, 'My goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?'"

That's a good point, unless the reason there aren't more images is because the conditions are so bad that reporters are unable to go out and get them. More to the point, there were approx 170,000 artifacts stolen from the National Museum and I'm guessing that at least 20 were vases.

Anyway, it seems to me that I've seen the same scenes of jubilation re-played ad-nauseum since Iraq was liberated. And if (I repeat if) the following is true, its no wonder:

    "Anyone who has seen a TV taping knows that tight camera angles exaggerate crowd sizes, but even a cursory examination of last week's statue-toppling propaganda tape reveals that no more than 150 Iraqis gathered in Farbus Square to watch American Marines--not Iraqis--pull down the dictator's statue. . .

    Actually, they were 150 imported art critics. The statue bashers were militiamen of the Iraqi National Congress, an anti-Saddam outfit led by one Ahmed Chalabi. The INC was flown into Iraq (news - web sites) by the Pentagon (news - web sites) over CIA (news - web sites) and State Department protests. Chalabi is Rumsfeld's choice to become Iraq's next puppet president. Photos at the indispensable Information Clearing House website ( place one of Chalabi's aides at the supposedly spontaneous outpouring of pro-American Saddam bashing at Firdus Square." (

Of course, the obvious difference here is that reporters only distort the truth to further their liberal bias (Ted Rall has one, no doubt about it). Thus, if they report anything that confirms the Administrations claims, it must be because it is so irrefutably true that even the liberal media conspiracy can't bury it. Say what you like, the pristinely preserved Oil Ministry will forever stand as a testimony to the jubilant, looting free liberation of Baghdad.
re: Was Iraqi Jubiliation Staged?purplepaul
Apr 17, 2003 3:50 PM
I thought there were way more than 150 shown but even if it wasn't staged I thought at the time that they might be doing this because they are so used to trying to appeal to whomever is in power at the moment.

If it was staged, how could all those reporters have missed it?
You're assuming the embeds are impartial observers.czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 4:00 PM
Even if you don't buy that they could have been working in concert with US Forces to stage these events, is it so implausible that they were feathering their own nests with superficially "historic" coverage.
I don't think embeds provided that footage...TJeanloz
Apr 17, 2003 4:07 PM
If I recall correctly, the infamous statue scenery was initially captured by independant reporters, not embeds, but I could be wrong.

As to whether it was staged or not, I think it's a grey area. Acts like this were certainly not discouraged by the US Military, and may even have been encouraged. But I don't think it was on a Hollywood soundstage with imported actors either. The [purported] fact that there was a Chalabi aide in the crowd seems reasonable -- if I'm an opposition leader, I'd probably want a guy in a crowd full of people who might be part of my future power base. I think the event was not implicitly staged, but it almost certainly was encouraged.

As to the overall Iraqi jubilation, I think it is unfair to say that all Iraqis are thrilled; and equally unfair to say that no Iraqis are happy. If any regime changed in any country, a certain percentage of the population will be happy about it, and a certain percentage will be unhappy. I do think that there is some pandering to the invading army -- and if I were in Baghdad about now I'd probably make myself a "Down with Saddam" sign too.

With regards to the National Museum looting, it now appears to have been largely the work of professional thiefs, who knew exactly what they were after.
Agree. Just about <i>everybody</i> was right about the war. . .czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 4:15 PM
. . .its potential benefits and potential pitfalls.
I'd call any reporter who didn't report a staged demonstration..purplepaul
Apr 17, 2003 4:41 PM
Peter Arnett.
Hahahahaha! ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can almost ...Live Steam
Apr 17, 2003 4:48 PM
hear them sweating. Bush is gonna kick some A in 2004 and no matter what they say or do, the DNC zombies can't do anything about it! Their desperation is getting the better of them :O)
So the war <i>was</i> about political opportunism after all.czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 5:29 PM
I'll give Bush credit for one thing: He doesn't keep anyone around dumb enough to let something like that slip.
I had a witty repartee for youpurplepaul
Apr 17, 2003 5:46 PM
But upon reflection it was neither witty nor repartee.

Everything everyone in office does seems to be about political opportunism. I think the best we can hope for is a better life for us all because Saddam is out of power. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I'd be less so if he were still in power.
Dang. I love witty repartee.czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 5:51 PM
You are right, of course, but somethings simply aren't said, especially by an administration this concerned with masking its realpolitik in a mantle of Christian virtue.
I believe the political opportunism has been emerging fromLive Steam
Apr 17, 2003 6:33 PM
the Left. You and your ilk couldn't even wait until this unfortunate episode was over before you started to sling mud. The Lefts attempt to portray the events in Iraq, while they were unfolding and while the men and women of our armed forces were moving closer to harm, as a failure were akin to aiding and abetting the enemy. You are just as nefarious as Baghdad Bob, however his position was unambiguous. You and the likes of you on the other hand are devils in sheep's clothing. You have seized this moment not be supportive, but to be divisive.

So don't try to distort the perception of the reality. Many of us have been nothing but supportive and sympathetic of our troops and of the civilian population in Iraq. You on the other hand have been partisan and belligerent. Your posts are clearly motivated by hate and cynicism.
Please remove the ten foot pole from your ass...empacher6seat
Apr 18, 2003 11:54 AM
and get a grip!

Who is distorting reality here? saying someone is as nefarious as Baghdad Bob for not supporting the war is as ridiculous as saying because you support the war, you support the killing of innocent Iraqis by coalition forces.

Is it not possible to seperate the Bush admin, or any administration, from the general public? I'm not fond of Bush, but that doesn't mean I hate America or all Americans. I don't support the war, but I hope the troops come home safe and sound. They're just doing their jobs.
Now there' a pleasant response!Live Steam
Apr 18, 2003 12:07 PM
The person who I responded to said I was politicizing the war and not concerned with the welfare of the troops. I did not say he was nefarious for not supporting the war. Your comprehension is lacking. My response was he was politicizing it while our men and women were heading into harms way. The Liberals were providing critical commentary of our war plans while they were in progress. The enemy could use this commentary to embolden their troops. This would be considered providing comfort to the enemy. Why couldn't they wait until the conflict was over?

I guess you are a peace loving soul like Tim Robbins. So now that you have attacked me verbally, do you want to hit me now?
Hey I want some of the ....Live Steam
Apr 17, 2003 4:43 PM
stuff you are smoking! It's true! They staged the celebrations with only ten people and lots of mirrors :O)

Say did it ever occur to you or to anyone for that matter, that the Iraqi military or even the curators could have taken the valuables before the US even arrived in Baghdad? The stuff could be sold on the black market to fund future terrorist activities, or to buy them a nice oceanfront condo in Miami.

I really love you and the others who are so desperate to take the shine off of such a successful mission. It just proves how desperate the left is, and how you dread the next election cycle. It's great being on the winning side!
What you fail to comprehend. . .czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 4:50 PM
. . .is that it hasn't taken any left-wing muck-raking to take the "shine" off this successful mission. Innocent people (the same ones we are there to liberate) are dead or deprived thanks to the urgency in Washington to go to war and their arrogant dismisal of anyone who urged them to caution and restraint.

Maybe you could spare a thought for the people who died as part of this jolly adventure (those on both sides) while you are patting yourself on the back for your valuable contributions and sacrifices, without which this war surely could not have been won.
I haven't failed to comprehend a thing. I think ...Live Steam
Apr 17, 2003 5:04 PM
about those that have given so much, those that gave all and those innocent people that have suffered and lost life. I pray for them every day. What I resent is your arrogance and failure to acknowledge the same. Your portrayal of events makes the loss of life and the suffering appear to be in vein. That is truly reprehensible.
Spare me your crocodille's tears.czardonic
Apr 17, 2003 5:17 PM
If you had any concern for the troops and civilians who are still very much in harms way, you would reserve your self-congradulatory gloating for the day when the last troop is home with his or her family and the ribbon is cut on on Iraq's new, independent, democratic government.

It's obvious that your ilk views this war as some kind of entertainment and/or publicity stunt in advance of the '04 elections.
at the time i noticed...rufus
Apr 17, 2003 4:44 PM
that when they would switch to a different camera angle from further back, the square looked deserted, and i kept watching the screen to see if they were showing a different area, or footage from earlier in the day. i was puzzled, it looked like two completely different places. but it was the same square, just from different angles. and then they would cut back to the angle most seen, and it looked like a teeming throng.

as to whether they were plants flown in, i won't speculate without proof. but it was obviously a much smaller and less joyful crowd than depicted.
Hey I love the comic relief :O) nmLive Steam
Apr 17, 2003 4:50 PM
whatever, Eeyore. nmDougSloan
Apr 17, 2003 7:18 PM
Touché, Pollyanna. nmczardonic
Apr 18, 2003 9:42 AM