War propaganda is by far the worst form of propaganda evident in the documentary of “The war you don’t see”. The media role in reporting war has not helped meet the journalistic goals that reporting should achieve.
Embedded reporting ruled and media houses did not taken time to verify and investigate the information given to them by the propagandist nations that had been involved in war in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the advent of US second invasion of Iraq in early 2000’s, the media coined a new word collateral damage with more than 700 reporters covering the unfolding war. The big names in media like BBC and ITV New channel all faulting on what transpired in Bagdad; biased reporting ruled their news channels and it portrayed Britain and American as justified to invade Iraq to get the chemical and ballistic weapons that were never found even after the UN Security Council reports on the non- existence of the said weapons. Even former UN weapons Inspector Scott Ritter 1991-1998 stated that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
A leaked footage of a US chopper attack on unarmed Baghdad residents that proves the film’s most disturbing scoop though news media did not report about it.
The US army forces knew how much the media would promote any piece of information that came from them. A case in point is media reporting 17 times that Bagdad city had fallen to the US army were all false alarm only to promote their propaganda. It was clouded with misinformation and disinformation to make it credible for their invasion of Iraq and consequent toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The US led army saw the statue of the former Iraq leader being brought down and an American flag raised thereafter. Many journalists were kept away from scenes of torture of Iraq civilians by British soldiers while women, children and the ordinary people lost homes.
The media was made to believe by former US Secretary of State Collin Powell who on February 5, 2003, appeared before the UN to “prove” the urgency to engage a war with Iraq. Although the presentation failed to change the fundamental position of the Security Council, including France, Russia, China, and Germany, Powell succeeded in hardening the overall tone of the United Nations towards Iraq.
Powell also claimed that Iraq harbored a terrorist network headed by al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (in a small region controlled by Ansar al-Islam), despite much evidence to the contrary Powell also showed photos of what he said was a poison and explosives training camp in northeast Iraq, operated by the group. The camp was visited by a British journalist two days later, all that was found was a few dilapidated buildings and no evidence or signs of any terrorist activity, chemical or explosives.
ITV News channel in 2002 reported that former US Vice President Dick Cheney during President George Bush Administration warned that Iraq would have a new weapon. Cheney and other dodgy politicians will try to authentic anything said and news media will relay much on it with little or no investigation into the source of the story.
It is important that journalistic values of reporting facts be a role played and not concentrate of propaganda. Embedded reporting should not be the focus of responsible reporting where governments manipulate the media to their advantage.