Fallujah: Fiction meets Reality
Posted: Saturday, November 13, 2004
By Jutta Schmitt
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With one of the first strategic military targets being a hospital so as to avoid pictures of civilians reduced to bits and pieces reaching the world and negatively impacting on Operation "Bomb 'em all into Oblivion," the razing to the ground of Fallujah ... the city of the "die-hard insurgents" and "home to absolute evil" ... has taken its course.
In a truly asymmetric "war," the American military has been using novel and devastating methods to clear Fallujah's streets. It has adapted a mine-clearing system, based on a rocket-propelled hose with explosives attached, used for the first time on D-Day on the fortified beaches of Normandy", as we learn from Times Defense editor, Michael Evans.
Marveling at the wonders of modern technology at the disposal of the American aggressor and the seamless transition from bomb-blasted streets to reality TV, war reporter James Hider describes how "the green video screen in the back of a Bradley fighting vehicle is the ultimate in reality television, and that is how we watched the battle of Fallujah unfold as our 30-tonne steel beast advanced into the district of Jolan, the rebels' bastion, in the small hours of yesterday morning ... on a screen accurate enough to show rats scavenging on the rubbish piles."
And as nothing but scavenging rats, indeed, are considered Iraqis who have never accepted the invasion and occupation of their country by a foreign aggressor and who keep fighting against their "liberation" with whatever means they can, determined but chanceless in the face of the aggressor's technological superiority and artificially boosted "morale." By means of "the US Army's psychological warfare team, playing Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers" the reality of war blends into the war of realities, making American troops feel like war-hero movie stars. And this is how we see suicidal vocation meet the pavlov conditioned mind in the streets of Fallujah, the two sides of our perverted world that reduces the human being to absolute nothingness.
On the one hand, the despair of defense turns human beings into bombs. On the other hand, Pavlov training is required to send an army to raze a city to the ground and "combat" against its besieged population. The carnage has to be put into proper scenery so the American troops' minds can switch to cinema reality, where they morph into Colonel Kilgore of Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam film, Apocalypse Now:
"Some scenes are memorable, notably the spectacular attack on a village by 9th Air Cavalry helicopter gunships, complete with loudspeakers playing Richard Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries." After the attack, the deranged Colonel Kilgore, wearing a Stetson, dismounts from his command helicopter, which is emblazoned with the insignia "Death From Above," surveys the carnage his attack has caused, and pronounces, "I love the smell of napalm . . . it smells like victory."
* The American Bush electorate, far from the smell of the phosphor-melted flesh of TV screens. After all, it's just "reality TV".
Hopefully, modern technology will soon revolutionize television broadcasting. Because I sincerely think it IS a shame that "you can't show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could fire real shots over the audience's head every night, you know, and have actual casualties in the theater" (or in the TV room for that matter), as a D-Day veteran dryly suggests.
'Cause that may be the only way the American public thinks twice before their next election.
JUTTA SCHMITT, M.A., Political Science, Philosophy & Sociology is an Assistant Lecturer (ad honorem) in Political Science at the University de Los Andes (ULA) in Merida.
You may email Jutta Schmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org
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