April 09, 2003
BAGHDAD DOESN'T FALL: "It crumbles."
The footage of Iraqis going after statues and pictures of Saddam is better than blogging at the moment. The TV guys are earning their keep. And it's going out across the Arab world on Arab TV services, I understand.
UPDATE: Just saw a statue of Saddam go down, while Iraqis cheered and threw things. Best of all, it was via Abu Dhabi TV.
A lot of Arab rulers are nervous now.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Peter Jennings just slammed the BBC politely, noting that a BBC reporter described the liberation scene that Jennings was narrating as "utter anarchy." It was, he said, an example of bringing a different perspective to the same events. Heh.
Meanwhile a British reader remarks that the BBC was slow even to cover the liberation events, and is now in an obvious snit, making a big deal about the looting even though it seems confined to Saddam's palaces and the like. My favorite comment:
If the Iraqis want to help themselves to a bit of Saddam regime loot, or string up a few collabos, they're welcome to it, so far as I'm concerned. I've never heard Brit broadcasters so aerated about economic redistribution before.
Heh. I think the BBC -- along with a lot of other people -- has shot itself in the foot over this one.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Scott Wrightson has some nice thoughts.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jim Hogue writes about the BBC's reputation: "It crumbles." He adds:
Quick note, while the statue was being pulled down in Baghdad my wife called and told me that the BBC was deeply engaged in a report onů.an earthquake somewhere. Impartial indeed.
I suppose it depends on which BBC service you're watching, as another reader sent me notes on a BBC report from the scene, but still. . .
Meanwhile Jim Treacher has already spotted the next protest sign.
And here's a far more detailed critique of the BBC's coverage, supporting the "it crumbles" thesis. And reader Dave Weigel emails about the looting:
Haven't BBC reporters taken any sociology courses? What's happening in Baghdad isn't looting. It's a popular uprising. Hey, that's how one of my professors at Northwestern referred to the L.A. riots.
You mean you can have a "popular uprising" against a government that's not Western, or at least Western-backed? Who knew?
Meanwhile reader Rick Richman emails: "Amazing turn of events: last year the guy got 100% of the vote!"
LAST UPDATE TO THIS POST: My brother emails: "Funny how it's the finance ministry building in Baghdad that is on fire... those do seem to be particularly flammable when a regime is on the way out." Yeah.