According to the L.A. Times, the U.S. military is “offering up its side of the war” on YouTube at a site maintained by the Multi-National Force – Iraq.
- U.S. military shows its side of Iraq war on YouTube, by Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2007.
The channel was the brainchild of the U.S. military’s “Web masters”: Brent Walker and Erick Barnes, two former Marines contracted to maintain the Multi-National Force-Iraq website from a small office in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.
- YouTube Multi-National Force – Iraq MNFIRAQ
Multi-National Force – Iraq established this YouTube channel to give viewers around the world a “boots on the ground” perspective of Operation Iraqi Freedom from those who are fighting it.
Video clips document action as it appeared to personnel on the ground and in the air as it was shot. We will only edit video clips for time, security reasons, and/or overly disturbing or offensive images.
According the the Times, “This is not the first time the military has delved into the world of online video sharing. The U.S. Navy launched a YouTube channel in November, and the Army followed in February. But they served mostly as recruiting tools, and have drawn a fraction of the viewers of the Multi-National Force-Iraq channel, with its raw footage from the battlefront.”
I do not know what this means in terms of these videos being official government publications. They are evidently created by the U.S. military, though, and seem to be an integral part of the history of the way the military wishes to portray itself and the war in Iraq. It is difficult to sort out the difference between this and “information warfare” (see What is Information Warfare? and Information Operations Roadmap).
The site also allows comments from the public.
Interestingly, the Multi-National Force site says, “All content on MNF-Iraq.com is public domain and may be used freely.”
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