Type in “War in Iraq” on Google. What do you get? The first source that pops up under the results is Wikipedia. Now, I’m not bashing Wikipedia as I’ve gone there before for information, but for that to be the first source to pop up on the internet to give us information about the conflict involving the Middle East?
The second and third sources are the NY Times and CNN, respectively. OK, I can see that. They are a bit more credible than Wikipedia, but give a one-sided view on the events of the past ten years. We see an Americanized point of view. We don’t always see a first-hand account of the war, but rather what the media wants us to see.
Keep scrolling down and you’ll find more articles by newspaper sites and television affiliates. More media. No first-hand accounts. No other perspective other than our own country’s.
Click on “images” on the left to see what shows up — American soldiers, American flags, and a few political cartoons. Again, am Americanized version of our involvement with Iraq.
Interestingly enough, it’s the video results on Google that show even a tiny bit of opposition to our involvement in Iraq. I wonder why that is? I’m not sure if I am making sense in saying this, but our views are severely skewed by media exposure. Google is the most popular search engine in the US, and we live in an age of information. This war has been highly publicized in news and other media forms. So many people get their information from search engines, it’s no wonder our view of the war on Iraq is so off kilter. We rarely see an account such as the point of view we see in Baghdad Burning. It’s amazing to hear the point of view of somebody who actually lived through the chaos that the war caused. It’s interesting to be exposed to something other than an Americanized point of view, blown up by the media. I think it’s good to keep read accounts such as these to remind ourselves that not everybody is the enemy. Right after 9/11 we were so paranoid, we thought anybody with a Middle Eastern accent was our enemy. It’s important to remind ourselves that this is not true. It’s great to get exposure outside of Google, especially with a form of writing that was originally published on the internet.