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NZers Duped in Propaganda Coup - Apology Due

New Zealanders Duped in Propaganda Coup - Apology Due

Bias in the media reporting on Iraq has been particularly evident since the US-led invasion began.

One particular example stands out and demands an apology to the people of New Zealand.

The April 9th destruction of the statue of Saddam Hussein was reported by the BBC and duly reported by New Zealand television, radio and newspapers as a "momentous event" with the media acting as a "witness to history". We were told the US forces watching were "amazed" on a "day of extraordinary drama and historic images" with George Bush declaring it "an historic moment". Donald Rumsfeld was ecstatic and used the occasion to launch another attack on those who opposed the US invasion.

The clear impression was of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens thrilled at being liberated in what it was the "defining moment" of the war. These images and oral reports were used to redefine the invasion as a "war of liberation".

The truth is quite different.

The crowd of Iraqi people was a mere 100 or so persons - most supporters of American favourite Ahmed Chalabi - with the event being staged outside the Baghdad Hotel - the "Palestine" - where foreign journalists were staying.

This is not to say that most Iraqi people were not relieved and even delighted at the overthrow of the brutal dictator Hussein. However the reporting of the downing of the statue was a "propaganda coup" for the invasion force and used by the US/UK media to create a deliberately erroneous impression and to redefine the invasion as a "war of liberation"

Television footage and radio reporting - repeated frequently on that day and many times since is continuing even today to reinforce this propaganda message.

GPJA believes the public is owed an apology for the New Zealand media's appalling, uncritical reporting of this event. It is simply not good enough to blame overseas reports. We believe the media must set the record straight for the public of New Zealand and to set this event in its actual context rather than the carefully staged propaganda coup it has become.

We deserve better. Please respond urgently!

Photos taken at the downing of the statue can be viewed at - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

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