What is going on in Egypt is powerful and scary stuff, and I don’t seek to demean it in any way. Nor do I seek to diminish or trivialize anything that happened or is currently happening in Iraq. However this contrast of images is simply stunning. The image above is a split of top down pictures of supposed ‘democratic revolutions’, one in Egypt right now, the other from 2003 in Iraq.
In the upper left of the lower image we see the focus on the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein – this was the widely shown image at the time. However, the wider image shows a nearly empty area surrounding the couple of hundred observers. Explanations about fear and so on abound, but the bottom line was that although the statue was down, there was no democratic revolution to be found.
Now we are hearing about ‘massive’ pro-government rallies in Egypt, accompanied by images like this:
But reporters on the ground are reporting that the images are staged and don’t reflect reality. Today we are seeing clashes, but it remains unclear about the numbers – particularly since the government has the army on its side and an interest in showing large amounts of support. In fact, here is a quote from a CNN report about exactly who these pro-government protesters were:
Some were terrified to be caught and begged for their lives, screaming that the government had paid them to come out and protest.
Others turned out to be carrying what seemed to be police identification, though they were dressed in plain clothes.
My goal isn’t to trivialize any of this or those who are going through it … but rather to show what can happen when you control the media and have an agenda to push.
Source: The Atlantic via Buzzfeed