Saturday, April 08, 2006

Not My Fault, Gov

We know that some people contend that the media is to blame for misrepresenting the situation in Iraq and making it look worse than it is. As usual, I recommend a trip to Iraq for every person who makes that claim.

Now though, I've found a variant which goes much further. This comes from a BBC Have Your Say board on life in Iraq. Take a deep breath.
Do you think the constant question (for the past 4 years) from Western media that Iraq is in danger of slipping into a civil war will actually cause this to happen?

Jeff Fogltance, Ontario, United States
Because most people in Iraq get their news from Western media sources. I can imagine how that plays out.
Mr Iraqi Shiite: "Hey, the BBC says that we're in danger of slipping into a civil war."
Mr Second Iraqi Shiite: "That's strange. I've not seen or heard of any sectarian violence in Iraq."
Mr Iraqi Shiite; "Me neither. Still, it is the BBC. Let's get tooled up and go out and kill some Sunnis..."
Is that how it's going to happen?

Perhaps, hopefully, Jeff is just a lone nutter. On the other hand, these stupid claims tend to spread like memes. The feeble "the media is misrepresenting the situation" meme is clearly fueled by the Whitehouse. Now that the scale of the violence makes this claim look ridiculous, can we expect more attempts to blame the media for actually creating the problem? I wouldn't rule it out.

I'm also expecting quite a few more right-wing/neo-con US commentators to start with the "we gave Iraqis a chance and they blew it so it wasn't our fault in any way, shape or form" line. This'll be coupled with calls for substantial withdrawals. They'll gloss over the fact that the United States, the de facto occupying force, failed at any time to provide the stability and security which might have allowed Iraqis to have a genuine chance.

The facts, unfortunately, rarely seem to impinge on the bilious rhetoric of these incompetent ideologues. They appear to be willing to sink to any depths to try to absolve themselves of responsibility for their own (mis)judgements.

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