www.scoop.co.nz an independent news agency operating from Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, continues to publish US and Iraq POW images stating that to do so serves the global public interest.
By Selwyn Manning – Scoop Media co-editor.
Scoop is determined that its editorial policy will continue to serve truth, accuracy and honesty and that its reportage of this US invasion of Iraq will not be censored nor sanitised. Let us consider why this is so.
Consider these points: Is it right that the general public have access to the realities of what is going on in Iraq? Ought we to be determined to publish and present a true reality of warfare? Is it likely that images such as those of the US POWs will aid people to realise how chilling, how unfair, how cruel, how sick warfare is?
Scoop’s editorial policy insists this is so.
The more people who realise this, the more compelled our communities may be to become participants in our democracies, to challenge elected leaders, and to insist leaders pursue alternative means of resolution outside the devolved condition of state-sanctioned murder.
To sanitise the reality of warfare is abhorrent to those serving the public interest. To censor images of capture, of death, as a consequence of war, is wrong. If Scoop were to do so, it would be subscribing to the glitzy rah rah top-gun Hollywood-façade-style of reportage that the mainstream United States based media has become obsessed with.
How does footage of desert-racing APCs, rocket launchers, sound-barrier breaking Hornets, and long distant shots of billowing smoke enlighten a viewer who sits stateside: bursting with pride, pulse racing, jaw clenched, throat veins bulging, popcorn in one hand and Bud-lite in the other, cheering ecstatically: ‘USA USA USA!’ as if it was the 2000 Olympics revisited?
Certainly the mainstream’s infotainment, served up night and day into offices, homes, and trailers around the world has only aided the USA’s Bush Administration’s pro-war spin-machine.
Subservience to government persuasion and a blurred line between reportage and showcase has seduced the minds of the gullible, wrapping them within a cotton-candy appreciation for the real consequences of an aggressive foreign policy.
In this day, in this new century, humanity deserves leaders who abhor the underlying darkness cloaked within rhetorical niceties belching from this current United States Administration. The words: ‘I will liberate you’, ‘I do not wish harm to come to you or your families’ have lost all meaning when one’s eyes draw into view the dead face of an innocent Iraqi child.
Additionally, being witness to fear expressed on young US soldiers faces as they are instructed to speak by their Iraqi captors is chilling. It is awful. It is dreadful. But by censoring and preventing the public to realise the true gravity of this crisis, will this serve the common global good?
The founding purpose of information sharing is to empower individuals to make informed choices. If publishing these images causes those who would otherwise send more to their deaths or support the killing of innocents to consider the true consequence of their decisions, then publishing is justified.
The issue here is not of privacy invasion or bad taste, it is that these images published on www.scoop.co.nz are representations of mass-murder, the gravity of which has yet to be appreciated and indeed yet to be fully reported.
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