After the Anglo-American invasion, the US neo-conservative administration established the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) in July 2003. It included 25 members selected for their ethnic and religious origins; it was the most obvious sign of the USA’s political separatist strategy. As a result of the new political reality, the Iraqi media was divided along ethno-sectarian lines that were the result of previous policies followed by the US administration. This chapter discusses the USA’s media policy prior to and after its invasion of Iraq, which played a part in enhancing and encouraging the sectarian divisions in Iraqi society. This policy was mainly carried out by sending biased media messages through the state-run Iraqi Media Network (IMN) and other US-aligned channels, and by allowing militant voices from different Iraqi sides to wage a war of words without interfering. In fact, the only time that US officials interfered was when they were criticised by Iraqi media outlets. When the US invasion occurred in 2003, Iraqis were amazed to read about and listen to the words ‘Shiite’ or ‘Sunni’; this was the new media reality that they faced. Since the media scene is a direct reflection of the political reality in Iraq, it is important to discuss the political developments after the US invasion.
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- The US Role in Shaping Iraq’s Post-2003 Media
Ahmed K. Al-Rawi
- Palgrave Macmillan UK