Robert Gates announced the end of the ban on photographing caskets of war dead*, a ban initiated by George H. W. Bush during the 1991 Gulf War.
To me, this tells a lot about a country willing to make peace and end war, and puts an end to a shameful tradition of hiding the truth to the US audience.
Remember how US Weapons of Mass Disinformation used to make a show of "surgical strikes" and other "clean war" impostures ?
Remember how the first pictures of scores of caskets, lined up in an army aircraft on its way from Baghdad, caused a scandal not because of the reason why those unlucky people where sent to death in the first place, but because such "un-American" images could undermine the morale of a nation at war ?
Remember how W. got reelected because he had the courage to take the decision of going to war, and not kicked out of the White House because he was coward enough to dodge his own military duties decades earlier, and crazy enough to take that doomed decision on the sole basis of his own fundamentalist's hidden agenda ?
Of course, let us not be fooled by the timing of Gate's announcement : the Defense Secretary is not only speeding up the withdrawal process (now US viewers must all understand it's better to get the heck out of Iraq as scheduled), but also pointing out fundamental differences between Obama and Bush at the very moment when journalists take notice of some similarities in the way war is being waged.
The Bush-Cheney propaganda era may be over, some positive spin can't hurt.
Can it ?
* as long, of course, as each family agrees - see "Pentagon OKs media photos of war dead overturning Bush's 1991 ban" (NY Daily News 20090226)
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