A Case of Mistaken Identity
"It's the, ..." he hesitated, "It's the. ..." He couldn't think of the name. Finally, he said, "It's the place where you go before you go to jail."
"Ah, the Ministry of Justice," my translator said.
"And what do you do now that it's destroyed?" I asked.
"Oh," he said, with a big grin, "you just go to jail."
Across the street from the Ministry of Justice was the similarly disemboweled Ministry of Local Government. The target list misidentified these buildings as Iraq's Ministry of Information and Culture, otherwise known as propaganda.
The ministry was on the U.S. bomb target list of Iraqi "leadership" sites along with three dozen or so television and radio stations in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. The Air Force's theory held the Iraqi propaganda effort could be halted through bombing. The buildings were hit superbly but the bombing didn't stop the Iraqi media effort. Contrary to the pre-war view that Iraq's own media needed to be knocked off the air, the international media CNN, the BBC not its state broadcasting establishment, were riveted on the air campaign and its collateral damage, reporting every instance of simple error and intent on finding controversy in the air attacks.
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