According to rumors Operation Desert Storm (The First Iraq War) did not start until CNN arrived. Now, a little more than 25 years later, we can watch live as people wage war on that same soil.
In the last few months we have seen people being shot on livestream. Now you can watch a battle waged in Mosul LIVE. Right now, it’s just distant cameras showing explosions but who knows when it will become more. Technology has really transformed how we see war and death nowadays. Maybe we have grown too accustomed to it, is it possible that in the near future this could become a new wing of entertainment shows? Just imagine “Live in the warzone” titles and then we follow up a guy who wears a GoPro streaming his experience in its gory reality.
Soldiers usually can’t tell their relatives where they are stationed, or when they are deployed to the field. Of course you can’t stop information leaking, soldiers are human beings too, they take pictures or accidentally check in at a location… though that’s rarely the case. But imagine someone walking into the live feed and dying on the spot. If a relative recognises them, how horrible, what a shocking experience that would be. And live streams cannot be censored properly.
I have my doubts though. One cannot tell if the thing we are watching is set up or not, or choreographed somehow, just like Wag the Dog’s fabricated war scene*. Or simply showing one side of the war. As the saying goes, “war doesn’t determine who’s right only who’s left”. But propaganda is not equal to true war. We can see glorious Americans, Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers waging a just war for freedom against barbaric radicals, but war is rarely black and white. If you take the Yemeni or the Ukrainian conflict, the lines between good and bad are not so clearly drawn.
Talking about these conflicts, here’s the other thing. People are dying over there too. And in great numbers, but you can’t hear about them. Livestreaming the Iraqi and Syrian conflict is much more beneficial. There you can name the bad guys, without pulling certain national interests in the game. If this is the future, the strongest, most unavoidable propaganda that mankind has ever seen, we should be worried. When media sources are directing your attention, and showing a certain angle of reality with great detail, you tend to forget that there is more to it.
Maybe, just maybe, if these live feeds become mainstream (I’m not trying to propagate war here) we may be shocked enough to do something. This video is a good example to the brutality of real war scenes (**WARNING GRAPHIC MEDICAL PROCEDURES**) Maybe if you can see civilians suffer on daily basis, not just glorious soldiers marching on, we’ll care enough to stop the fighting. I believe that eventually technology will be able to solve humanity’s greatest problems, I hope that the day comes when these terrible things won’t be just “some sh.t happening in some desert country” but become upsetting enough for the general population TO CARE.
*(If you haven’t seen it, the plot is that the president wants to be re-elected, so he orchestrates a fictional war using Hollywood.)