Sunday, March 19, 2006

Does a Photo Always Tell the Whole Story?

When this photo and the accompanying article (you may need to register to view it) ran on the front page of last Wednesday's (March 15th) Sacramento Bee, I thought at the time that the Bee was asking for it. Sure enough, judging by the ensuing letters to the editor that flooded the Bee, I wasn't the only one who noticed this biased and disgusting attempt at making news instead of reporting it.

The photo shows some Iraqi children who were killed by U.S. troops during a firefight that was part of this major offensive going on in which our troops are working alongside Iraqi troops in an attempt to ferret out the leaders of Iraq's "Insurgency". The headline of this article reads, Iraqis say 11 people killed in U.S. raid. So the casual reader sees the photo of dead Iraqi children and then reads the headline that says that the children were killed in a "U.S. raid".

One has to read all the way down to the last paragraph (out of 14 paragraphs) of the article that talks about this particular incident before the "Aha!!" moment arrives. That paragraph says, "[American] troops were engaged by enemy fire as they approched the building [where these children were located]. Coalition forces returned fire utilizing both air and ground assets."
(my emphasis).

So, it turns out that our troops aren't bloodthirsty cowboys who indiscriminately kill little children after all. Can't you see what happened here? Our troops are on patrol, and they are fired upon by some cowardly terrorists holed up in a house. And who pray tell do the terrorists have with them in the house? Why, their families, including their little children. The Americans have no choice but to fire back, and lo and behold, the children are killed in the battle. Meanwhile, the Bee and God knows how many other newspapers run this morbid photo of these poor innocent defenseless Iraqi children who were brazenly killed by our big, bad, mean American military. Forget about the the cowardly cockroaches who served up their own children as cannon fodder in an attempt to score a PR coup at the expense of our soldiers and our country's reputation. This is how it works folks. This is what happens when you deal with people who will stop at nothing, even sacrificing their own children, in order to gain some points on the battlefield, and in the court of public opinion.

Good Day to You, Sir

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