Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Presenting Collateral Damage

Monday, April 24, 2006

Presenting Collateral Damage

In the New York Times' article, War's Hidden Cost, Rumsfeld is quoted saying: "We know for a fact that these were legitimate military targets in that area that were struck...We know that there was terrific traditional, consistent planning to ensure that only these targets were struck. We know there were no off-target hits, so there were no collateral damage worries in this series of strikes." The article goes on to examine the actual collateral damage: "80 dead and 50 wounded were carried out of the area, including women and children...more were left behind."

Does Rumsfeld really believe that civilians wouldn't be where military targets are, especially during war? Are his comments supposed to ease the American publics' conscience? To say that the targets were known (for a fact) to be military and that they were hit (and there weren't any miscalculations leading to missed targets) doesn't really account for the population that is trying to go on with its life even though there is a war going (or trying to find sympathizers by sacrificing their lives - depending on why there were so many civilians - to which I dare not speculate). It almost seems as though he is trying to blame the civilians for being around military places that they should assume would be targeted - and they should take it upon themselves to relocate as not to be killed.

1 Comments:

Blogger A. Mattson said...

Civilian casualties are inevitable even with the most precise munitions. The question becomes how can the Pentagon manage and limit the coverage of 'collateral damage' which could create opposition to the war. The first step is to attempt to minimize civilian casualties, and our military is better at this than any in the world. Keeping civilian casualties low is in their own interest, dead civilians are used to stimulate resistence to our occupation. That said the more intense the fighting the greater the unintended body count. The Rumsfeld policy of not counting Iraqi dead has been effective in keeping the American public in the dark, despite the images published in the press.

4/24/2006 11:20 PM  

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