Anorak News | War Games

War Games

by | 10th, November 2004

‘THERE was a time when you could spot American visitors to your city by their massive paisley shorts, booming voices and wads of dollars.

The virtual reality of Iraq

Now, in a piece given the rather benign title “THE DAY THE AMERICANS CAME TO TOWN”, the Independent sees the American abroad dressed in green battle fatigues and looking at the sights down the barrel of a high-velocity rifle.

Things have changed in the battle for Fallujah, the place that’s come to epitomise the broader fight between the American-led West and her enemies.

The Independent’s front page, in which it starkly tells of the death of a nine-year-old boy struck by shrapnel, is intended to jar the reader out of their comfort zone.

The story of the killing of a young innocent might be a wake-up call to some, but over in the Times the battle is elsewhere, even for some of the fighters embroiled within it.

The paper’s James Hilder – who today wears the war reporter’s badge of honour of having been wounded in the line of despatches – sees much of the street fight through a green video screen.

This is, says the man on the spot, “the ultimate in reality television”, the chance to watch the battle for Fallujah unfold through cameras mounted within a 30-tonne steel Bradley fighting vehicle as it trundles through the streets.

Outside the vehicle, the man on the scene tells us how up to 5,000 “die-hard insurgents” are striving to kill, but inside “on a screen accurate enough to show rats scavenging on the rubbish piles, the battle between luminous green tanks and luminous green gunmen seemed almost abstract”.

Like watching someone else play a video game, perhaps. And the Telegraph has the scores: 10 Americans killed in two days of fighting; Tory claims that 600 more British tropes are being made ready for the move to Iraq; and 280,000 locals in Fallujah barricaded inside their homes in fear of their lives.

And, given the overwhelming odds in the Americans’ favour, surely only possible outcome…’

Posted: 10th, November 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink