02. March 2005 · Comments Off on The Hottest New Reality TV Show… · Categories: Iraq

…In Iraq, is called Terrorism in the Grip of Justice (free subscription req’d):

BAGHDAD — A distraught mother, dressed in black, stares into a TV camera and declares, “I smashed the terrorist” with a shoe. “He killed my son.”

The camera then focuses on the alleged murderer, Mohammed Adnan, who is facing both the grieving woman and her sobbing grandson.

The teenage boy says that Adnan, whose left eye appears swollen, was dressed as a police officer when he came to their home last fall and took away his father, who was never seen again.

The professional-looking videotape, which began airing recently on the government-owned Al Iraqiya television network, is among the more dramatic in an ongoing series of insurgent “confession” videos that have galvanized Baghdad.

The one-hour tapes constitute a sort of reality TV whose aim is to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Aired twice a day, they serve as a counterpoint to the now-familiar images shot by insurgents of cowering hostages and beheadings. They are also a centerpiece of an intense government campaign designed to convince an edgy population that the fledgling government and its hard-hit security forces are making Iraq safer.

“Terrorism in the Grip of Justice” is the title of the series, which began airing shortly before Iraq’s national election Jan. 30. While it’s not clear just how truthful the videos are, the provocative images seem to bolster skeptical Iraqis’ confidence in a government often assailed as ineffective against lawlessness and violence.


The program’s popularity has not been lost on the insurgents, who have launched a public relations counteroffensive denouncing the tapes as a hoax and threatening in pamphlets to impose “God’s justice” on employees of the government-funded network.

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