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Old March 27th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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Talking Bullet Cams Deployed In Iraq

BULLET CAMS DEPLOYED IN IRAQ


QATAR: The Arabic satellite channel Al Jezeera announced today that it had deployed a new on-site war coverage capability to really bring the horrors of war into the world's living rooms.

"We have installed tiny little cameras in the heads of bullets that will be fired by Iraqi soldiers at the invading American troops," said Mustapha Da:bi, head of Al Jezeera.

Al Jezeera was recently heavily criticized for airing footage of dead US soldiers and prisoners of war filmed by Iraqi state television, and before that, the TV channel was criticized for airing interviewed with Osama bin Laden, and before that the Arabic channel was criticized for generally inflaming relations between Islamic societies and the West.

The Al Jezeera innovation to provide live coverage of real bullets impacting real bodies is only a minor step away from technological advances recently unveiled by other television networks in their coverage of the war in Iraq.

On Sunday night the Fox Network used a video phone to cover the advance of the Third Infantry Brigade across the Iraq border, and on Monday NBC trotted out a live feed from a jeep via a microwave truck.

Peter Arnett broadcast from his vintage perch in a Baghdad hotel, and again got some spectacular live shots of cruise missiles hitting buildings across the Tigris River. No missiles were seen flying past his hotel window, however.

US military sources have not released any gun camera footage from precision-guided weapons or bombers, as they did in the first Gulf War. No explanation has been offered for the lack of footage of laser-guided bombs sailing into office building windows and resulting explosions of desks and papers from the building.

America television viewers, comparing the live coverage of advancing Bradley Fighting Vehicles through sandstorms and balls of fire erupting from Baghdad neighborhoods with recent versions of video games, rated the war coverage "really cool".

Game software developers were working night and day to imitate the scenes of anti-aircraft fire lacing the skies as missiles blasted buildings.

US television networks were reluctant to indicate whether or not they would run any of the "bullet-cam" footage expected to be provided by Al Jezeera from Iraq. "It might be a different question if it were our bullet-cams showing impact on Republican Guard soldiers, or better still, Saddam himself," said an executive with Fox, who declined to be identified.

Many of those covering the war suspect there is footage of the cruise missiles hitting Saddam's home the other night, and wonder why it hasn't been made public. "There's a major story as to how the US targeted the site in the first place, and what the result was," said the anonymous spokesman for Fox. "Like why would they even try to take out Saddam if they couldn't ultimately verify they had succeeded."

A rude comment from the French Television Network NNN (Nasty Network News) was that the US didn't think it had a snowball's chance in hell in succeeding, thus there was no plan for immediate verification of the mission's success
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