The Battle for Hearts and Minds

"Impartial information is increasingly hard to come by in Iraq," reports Fiona O'Brien. "As fighting has intensified on the ground, U.S. authorities have stepped up a separate battle for public opinion, tightly controlling the flow of information to journalists whose ability to move freely in Iraq has been limited by increasing danger." Although U.S. military officials refuse to discuss Iraqi civilian casualties, other reports suggest that hundreds have died in the past week in Fallujah alone. Reuters footage shows "dead children, old men and women lying wounded in overfull makeshift clinics." According to U.S. journalist Rahul Mahajan, who was in Fallujah on Saturday and Sunday, "there's a big controversy now with the Arab press, Al-Jazeera, in particular reporting U.S. atrocities and war crimes in Fallujah, and the U.S. press tamely reporting Brigadier General Mark Kim's claims no such thing is happening. I can tell you from what I have seen with my own eyes that Al-Jazeera is much closer to the truth."