David Garcia on Tue, 25 Mar 2003 19:26:35 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Scuds

   Propaganda we are experiencing is mostly embedded in the language and
   most of it pretty crude, allied forces are not invaders but
   "liberators". Fierce fire fights for entrenched Iraqi positions are
   the "mopping up" "pockets of resistance" and soldiers who do not
   surrender are "fanatics". The absence of crowds cheering their
   liberators is the result of the Iraqi terror machine. All this is the
   established rhetoric which almost all audiences know how to filter.
   But on the second day of the conflict a  "terminological inexactitude"
   (a lie) with more material consequence seems to gone by unchallenged.
   It was stated on BBC and CNN that "Scud missiles" had been launched.
   The troops were even said had to have dug "Scud pits" as shelters. And
   yet although missiles were indeed launched at no point was there any
   evidence that they had in fact been Scuds. So what! you might ask, a
   missile is a missile is a missile. But the distinction is important;
   Scuds with their medium range capability were an explicitly banned
   weapon. They were all supposed to have been destroyed. If they had
   indeed been used by Iraqi forces then they could also be viewed as
   potential delivery systems for chemical weapons and hence be seen as
   evidence for the existence of "weapons of mass destruction". The very
   existence of Scuds alone would have represented the "material breach"
   desperately sought but never found and  would have given grounds for a
   second UN resolution sanctioning the use of force. The unchallenged
   use by mainstream broadcasters of the term "Scud" plays a small but
   significant role in the process of legitimization. Unsurprisingly at
   no point has any evidence whatsoever been presented that the missiles
   launched were in fact Scuds, it just left hanging as part of the drip,
   drip drip from the spin, rumor lie machine.
   David Garcia

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