“Terror confessions on TV grip Baghdad,” from the Times UK, and RB:
This is Terror in the Grip of Justice, the latest television hit in entertainment-starved Iraq where it is too dangerous to venture out at night and street life ends at last light. It is also the latest weapon in the Government’s propaganda war against the insurgents, aimed at exposing them as the enemies of ordinary Iraqis and cautioning those tempted to join them….
In one riveting episode this week, a gloating interrogator, barely able to disguise the venom in his voice, sought to cast a motley bunch of alleged insurgents as criminals unworthy of the name of Mujahidin (fighters in a holy war), a word with honourable connotations in the Arab world.
A suspect who confessed to receiving payments from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s insurgent group in turn for killing policemen was asked how he spent the money. “On booze and clothes,” he said.
“You call yourself a holy warrior but you drink?” spat the interrogator. “You discredit the name of jihad.”
Then, like Jerry Springer delivering his “final thought”, the interrogator addressed his own homily to those at home: “For those who say we are discrediting the jihad, I swear by God, if it was a real jihad, we would be leading it….
I feel so reassured! But others in Iraq have not felt so sanguine about this:
Insurgents have begun a propaganda counter-offensive, denouncing the tapes as fakes and threatening to impose “God’s justice” on the station’s employees – a threat apparently made real with the killing of Raeda Wazan, an anchor-woman, last month.
Yes, of course! Any propaganda counter-offensive worth its salt must include murder!