Saddam Hussein was tried for genocide and crimes against humanity in events that happened over 2 decades ago. His guilt in that one trial spoke to a single chapter whose murderous mark personifies a sliver of the total crimes that Hussein committed in over a quarter century of terror. Yet the mainstream media is beside themselves in trying to recreate the image of Saddam Hussein the killer into Saddam Hussein the victim.
Perhaps topping this list of mainstream media revisionists is the New York Times who tell the latest chapter in Saddam’s life as if the United States is the party responsible for creating the negative image of the “Butcher of Baghdad”.
Like the helicopter trip, just about everything in the 24 hours that began with Mr. Hussein’s being taken to his execution from his cell in an American military detention center in the postmidnight chill of Saturday had a surreal and even cinematic quality.
Part of it was that the Americans, who turned him into a pariah and drove him from power, proved to be his unlikely benefactors in the face of Iraq’s new Shiite rulers who seemed bent on turning the execution and its aftermath into a new nightmare for the Sunni minority privileged under Mr. Hussein. - Ny Times, U.S. Questioned Iraq on the Rush to Hang Hussein [all emphasis mine]
Surreal and cinematic are terms that best personify this type of reporting. Devices such as spectacular headlines, time compressed chronologies and emotionally driven innuendo are commonly employed in cinematic productions - just as they are in the journalistic ones. The journalistic editor even uses some of the the same tools as the screenwriter, the most powerful one being the editor’s pen. A skilled journalist, such as those honed for the New York Times, will use the editor’s pen to carefully shave out contextual filler, rendering it limply to the cutting room floor along with the rest of the scrap deemed unsuitable to fit the carefully crafted storyline. The end result is an Oliver Stone like dramatization that sells well in crowds that are easily swayed by emotion but gets little traction in the real world where people live and die by the facts of life.
Luckily a new trend has emerged and we have the opportunity to resurrect these deleted scenes with a new clarity thanks to alternative media. The New York Times dramatization of Saddam Hussein’s hastily rushed demise is one where the United States turned him into a pariah. The deleted scenes however tell a much different story where Saddam Hussein's shadow of maiming, rape, murder and torture affected millions of people - a pariah of his own creation.
Likewise, the New York Times paints an image of the U.S. as the "unlikely benefactor" in their version of events. Perhaps they are waiting for the sequel to consider the fact that Iraqi’s have a chance to benefit most now that the stabilizing force of an oppressive murderous dictator has been eliminated for good. If only the media would try and help as opposed to their current efforts that seem bent on stirring unrest and eliminating hope.
Am I oblivious to the obvious carnage and precariously teetering instability that remains in the wake of Saddam’s vacuum? No, not in the least. But my alternative version tells one of hope where once there was none. After all, we are talking about a man who had a pattern of committing crimes against humanity. He was tried by his own people and even had an appeal; something not afforded the victims of Saddam Hussein who now line mass graves with telltale holes in their blindfolded skulls. Men, women and children whose own version of justice is a bit different than the perverted version being told by the mainstream media.
The mainstream media has deteriorated at the hands of activists that have become experts at twisting the facts to stitch together a story that couldn’t otherwise stand on its own under the scrutiny of contextual accuracy. This is exactly the sort of context, or lack thereof, that exposes the dinosaur media as the worst sort of information collective - one that is devoid of the context and accuracy required to be considered as a credible sources of news.
Where’s the justice in that?
Terry Trippany is the editor at Webloggin.