I guess that this is one way to desensitize people to the fear and horror that they are living with everyday.
How much different is it here in the US? Not much. We are going around in fear of where the next strike is going to be. The carnage that we are all waiting for all the time.
The question really is, do we want to desensitize people? Is that a good thing? Should people become unafraid of death and walk around knowing that they may be the next target? Will this be a good place to live? Will people WANT to endure hardship for today, if tomorrow it can be blown away? There is little compassion in this. Is this why the populations in the ME don’t endeavorer to think in much longer terms? Is this why their desert bears little, if any, fruit and what little kernels of fruit become rooted, they are plucked quickly due the the greed an necessary control of the population by the brutes that rein with power, like Hamas or Hezbollah?
How different is this from the reality shows that we see? Those that desensitize us to the criminals that run around in our streets and the drug dealers that lure our population in to the gutter? Now the politicians want a drug like POT to be legal, because they WON’T control it. The gangs control them and now, some of them can be considered PART and PARCEL to the gangsters.
Maybe this is the only way that they can continue to LIVE despite the fear. Laugh at it.
Sad – Truly Sad
The whole world is in fear. We are much better off here only in that it’s not so frequent. YET.
September 3, 2010, 1:03 PM
Punk’d, Iraqi-Style, at a Checkpoint
By YASIR GHAZI
BAGHDAD — An Iraqi reality television program broadcast during Ramadan has been planting fake bombs in celebrities’ cars, having an Iraqi army checkpoint find them and terrifying the celebrities into thinking that they are headed for maximum security prison.
The show “Put Him in [Camp] Bucca” has drawn numerous protests but has stayed on air throughout the fasting month, broadcasting its “stings” on well-known Iraqi personalities.
All of them were ensnared by being invited to the headquarters of the private television station Al Baghdadia to be interviewed, but en route to the station a fake bomb would be planted in their car while they were being searched by Iraqi soldiers, who were in on the deception.
The unwitting celebrities are then secretly filmed, Candid-Camera-style, as they reacted with shock, disbelief and anger as fake checkpoint guards shout abuse at them: “Why do you want to blow us up?” “You are a terrorist.” “How much did they pay you to do it? You will be executed.”
The celebrities protest that they know nothing about the supposed bomb, that they are innocent and honorable Iraqi citizens, only to be told, “We have caught you red-handed, with the bomb in your car.”
How much of it is staged with the knowledge of the actors is unclear from the footage, which has been broadcast daily this month, with excerpts, reactions and comments on the channel’s Web site.
One televised exchange ran:
Soldier : “Which group you are working for?”
Television Host: “Al Qaeda for sure.”
Guest: “I am an actor. What are you saying? Is this a game or what?”
Soldier: “This a military checkpoint. What do you think we are playing here? You have got a bomb in your car.”
Television Host: “Why are you doing this? Why are you putting me in such trouble?”
Guest: “I am a family man. I have two kids. How could I do this to my family? I am telling you the truth, it’s not me who planted the bomb.”
Nearly every Iraqi newspaper carried complaints about the idea of the show, with many well-known figures asking for it to be canceled. Some said it was simply too close to Iraq’s daily reality.
The name of the show refers to Camp Bucca, the large American-built high-security prison near the Kuwaiti border in southern Iraq that held thousands of Iraqi detainees and was closed in September 2009.
Kifah al-Majeed, an official with the Baghdad Operations Command, which runs the Iraqi security forces in the capital, said: “Al-Baghdadia did it in an official way. They sent us a document asking us for permission to do this television show. We agreed, so al-Baghdadia did nothing wrong.”
The producers of the show said that the show was entertainment, that it made people laugh and that no one had gotten hurt. The celebrities, they said, agreed for the episodes to be broadcast, and many were interviewed in the studio afterward.
Ali al-Khalidi, the show’s host, who appears on screen in many of the setups, said: “The show will continue until the end of Ramadan. Yes, there have been a lot of things said about it in the newspapers and on radio and television, but it will go on.”
Of the dozens of comments left on the Web site by viewers, most were negative. A sample taken on Friday included:
“Everyone knows that Iraq is living under unnatural circumstances on all sides, so why do you make a program that is based on fear, provocation and mocking, especially to Iraqis.”“To al-Baghdadia channel, I hope that your channel does not dance on the wounds of the Iraqi people”.
“I am sure that showing such scary and frustrating programs is merely to bring a smile to the lips of the viewers. There are not many ways to bring such smiles other than what we have watched in this program.”
“The program is very nice, and the nicest thing is that the soldiers are acting in a very good and convincing way. It is obvious that the artist feels that he is in big trouble without a solution, so he would do anything to convince the soldiers that he is innocent.”
“When you want to bring a smile to someone’s lips, do not do that at the expense of other people. I want to ask, if one of the victims was sick with diabetes or blood pressure and had a heart attack, what would your reaction be then if a disaster took place? Would an apology be enough then?”