History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    The Forgotten City

    Callimachus of the always fascinating Done With Mirrors has noticed something very interesting. Apparently, Fallujah has dropped off the map for most of the news organizations.
    Remember Fallujah? Three months ago, U.S. Marines waded into the warren of its streets and fought their toughest battle since Vietnam. They captured the former capital of the Islamist terrorists in Iraq. They ended the reign of Abu Musab al Zarqawi there, where he had created a grotesque miniature picture of what all Iraq would become if the U.S. packed up and came home, as war opponents wanted us to do.

    Our troops scoured the city, and chased or killed the thug army that had made it its citadel. The fighting devastated Fallujah, which once had been home to 300,000 people. We said we would help them build a new Fallujah, when they returned. This was to be a showplace of the new Iraq, in the heart of the Sunni region, in the Baathist bastion.

    Well, how's it going? Are we keeping our promise? Are we doing it well or poorly? What do the people say?

    You'll never find out by reading the Associated Press. Or the New York Times. For the print media, Fallujah seems to have fallen off the map as totally as Atlantis.

    Like the rest of the "rebuilding" leg of the Iraq story, Fallujah has been neglected by our media. There are exceptions, and I'll get to them in a minute. But when I scrolled back through the wire services we subscribe to -- AP, Knight-Ridder, New York Times, Cox, and half a dozen smaller papers -- for the past month, I found only a handful of stories about Fallujah.
    The rest is worth reading as well. Here we see another blatant example of media bias. The only real coverage there is negative, there is nothing else. While I am not saying that the negative news isn't correct, I find it to be indicative of a critical flaw in the mindset of reporters in Iraq. They are looking for "blood stories", and while Fallujah has some negative aspects to it, there is simply not enough blood anymore. Hence, they focus elsewhere. I suspect that if more word of negative events in Fallujah got out, then media interest would increase. But only then.

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