April 30, 2008

Green Zone Fireworks


Dramatic shot, yes?

This image, from yesterday's newswire, was taken over the embattled Green Zone in Iraq.  I offer the photo less as documentation of battle, however, than as evidence of how the MSM, in small ways as well as large, continues to censor itself in collusion with the government.

What am I talking about?  Well, can you tell what's happening just from looking at this image?  From WAPO's caption in its April 29th "Day In Pictures" slide show, you can get some of the meaning:

April 28: A U.S. Army medevac helicopter flies over rising smoke in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. At least 38 died in some of the most violent clashes in the capital in weeks.

Still, isn't it curious why WAPO fails to describe, let alone even mention, those projectiles below the helicopter?  Is it enemy fire (the news of which would potentially stir people up, seeing the nerve center of our Iraq mission — as well as the HQ of our installed government — subject to such dramatic bombardment)?  Is it coalition fire?  Are they flares?

Well, I went searching for the original caption that AP distributed with the photo, and it reads as follows:

A U.S. Army medevac helicopter flies over rising smoke in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday, April 28, 2008. Shiite extremists lobbed rockets or mortar shells at the U.S. protected Green Zone on Monday, as U.S. and Iraqi troops engaged militants in the most violent clashes in weeks in Baghdad, killing at least 38.

Funny what the presence or absence of a few words can do.  What the WAPO caption does, in this case, is relegate the image to a visual genre the Administration established in Iraq from Day One.  You can file it under fireworks show.

Friday's MSNBC piece is a must read:  New U.S. embassy complex in Green Zone lacks adequate housing. Hundreds of U.S. workers living in unprotected trailers.  More than a dozen killed in latest series of attacks. New U.S. embassy in Iraq short on housing. (msnbc.msn.com)

2 US Troops Killed, 21 Wounded; 37 Iraqis Killed in Baghdad Clashes (Juan Cole)

(image: Khalid Mohammed – AP.  April 28, 2008.  Baghdad. via WAPO)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus