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Saturday, January 14, 2006

TV Iraq 

Billmon is back with a post about the newest in reality TV, Iraq style - The Abu Zarqawi Hour:
The video ends with Abu Zemen being shot in the back of the head, as well as having his house blown up.
Let's see Kiefer Sutherland top that . . . the terrorists appear to be getting a much bigger bang for their propaganda buck than the U.S. military is for its. With all due respects to the Lincoln Group, planting phony op-eds in Iraqi newspapers and blasting out text messages praising the democratic process is pretty thin gruel compared to exploding Humvees and videotaped executions. . . .
an insurgent group that operates its own clandestine TV studio and runs promos for future programming is not exactly a fly-by-night operation, constantly on the run from safe house to safe house. To me, it's just another sign that the Sunni insurgency -- or at least the homegrown parts -- is evolving into a complex enterprise, one that has a mix of clandestine, semi-clandestine components, as well as public "front" organizations. The result might be something like the old IRA/Sinn Fein apparatus, with a similar strategy of combining guns and politics . . . the metamorphosis of the Sunni insurgency into a multi-faceted, multi-layered resistance movement makes counterinsurgency an even more complicated task, and makes the U.S. military's emphasis on brute force (i.e. dropping 500 lb bombs on safe houses and leveling entire neighborhoods to chase out a few hundred rag tag guerrillas, even more inappropriate. The strategy and politics of it aside, though, the most striking thing about the "Abu Zarqawi Hour" is how it demonstrates the deranged, almost hallucinatory, quality of our 21st century global village . . . just as Paddy Chayefsky predicted 30 years ago.
The season premier of 24 is on tomorrow night -- I stopped watching at about the 2-3 pm show on the first year of the series but I gather they have dumped that day-in-the-life format and that Jack Bauer is still saving the world weekly by torturing some brown-toned person about whether to cut the blue wire or the green wire, or something like that. It does seem that what is on TV in Iraq these days is miles ahead of any Hollywood fantasy.
And what is Washington's response to all the problems in Iraq? Swiftboat Jack Murtha. Yeah, that'll do it.

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