SAN DIEGO, CA. Did you notice that the Iraq War was over? It must be, as -with no fanfare or comment – the San Diego Union-Tribune dropped their “The Fight For Iraq” page. Since the war begun, the San Diego daily has devoted an entire page to the war and its occupation. At first, the Iraq war page was at the very prominent position of being the entire page 2, especially during the ‘shock & awe’ and “mission accomplished” phases of the war. But when the war began going badly and the American people’s support for it tumbled, the editors of the Union-Tribune shifted the page to the back of the paper, the last page before you turn to the usual ads on the very back page.
But today – take this down – August 12, 2008 – there was no “Fight For Iraq” page! Damn, the war must be over. Now, there were a couple articles on the page, A9, including “2,000 Georgian soldiers depart Iraq, leaving void at checkpoints”. The other article, in a lead position, says it all – “Iraq gives refugees free flight home from Egypt” – see, the war must be over: Iraq is welcoming home its expatriates! Of course, if you read the second paragraph, you would learn that “many of those returning on the free flight … said they had come back only because they were broke after years of living outside Iraq ….”
The irony of the last day – August 11th – that the special war page ran was its main headline: “Iraqi official wants ‘clear’ exit timeline”. It said it all. The War is over.
Of course, perhaps the paper was more motivated by falling advertising revenues and readership rates. It just could not devote an entire page to Bush’s mission of occupation. News of the war just was not selling papers anymore.
But wait! There’s a new war! Russia has … uh, invaded somewhere. Let’s fire up the ol’ Cold War propaganda engines. We want to get a good price for this rag.