Dutch Press Review: Gory war scenes should not disturb the Public

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sun Jul 27 08:48:01 MDT 2003


Press Review Friday 25 July 2003

The first thing that stands out in today's papers is what they did not
print. One might have expected to see large gory color photographs of the
dead sons of Saddam Hussein on the front-pages today, now that the American
authorities have decided to release the photographs. But that is not the
case.

All the Dutch papers limit themselves to small black-and-white shots of the
dead Uday and Qusay on the inside pages where, for example, the ALGEMEEN
DAGBLAD reminds us of what the Geneva Convention stipulates about the
treatment of the bodies of people killed in a conflict. "They must be buried
in a marked and kept grave. This could cause problems for the Americans.The
funeral could turn into a demonstration and the graves could become a place
of pilgrimage for Saddam Hussein's supporters."

Danse macabre

The VOLKSKRANT reflects today on what should or should not be shown to the
public, citing what it calls the 'danse macabre' or dance of death that is
being performed in the streets of the Liberian capital Monrovia. "The images
of drugged child soldiers happily prancing through the streets with the
chopped off heads of their enemies are so revolting that they are not shown
to the public.In the case of Liberia, the media is showing restraint --
rightfully so. Not everything that can be shown needs to be shown." The
VOLKSKRANT adds that the situation in Liberia is so horrible that "military
intervention is both a necessity and at the same time a rather unattractive
prospect".

Two battle fronts in Australia and New Zealand

Ambivalence is also evident in the NRC HANDELSBLAD's story about the
Australian military intervention in the Solomon Islands. The NRC says New
Zealand's participation in the intervention force is meant to remove the
impression that Australia is engaging in power politics in the region. "New
Zealand, which fiercely distanced itself from Australia's participation in
the war against Iraq, is seen by poor countries in the region as cooperative
and non-threatening."

Elsewhere in the region we read in the VOLKSKRANT that the xtc trade in
Australia and New Zealand, most of it coming from the world's number-one xtc
producer The Netherlands, is a highly lucrative trade. The pills, which are
produced and sold on the streets of this country for 4,50 euros go for 60
euros in Australia and 78 euros each in New Zealand. The VOLKSKRANT says
that although two Dutch men have just been arrested near Sydney for trying
to sneak in nearly 400 thousand xtc pills, only 10% of the smugglers get
caught.

Changing 'ethics'
TROUW comments today on the fact that in spite of long waiting lists in the
health care sector in this country, some patients are not showing up for
their scheduled operations, simply because the weather is too nice. "The
beaches beckon on the very day you're supposed to have your knee operated
on. The solution: just don't go, cancel or don't even call, and grab your
beach bag.", leaving a waiting medical team and an operating room stranded
with thousands of euros in lost revenue. TROUW says it is unfortunate that
hospitals will now have to impose "no show" fines. One man who would
certainly have welcomed immediate medical attention collapsed on the street
in Dordrecht yesterday because of a rare and painful disease in his joints,
says the TELEGRAAF, but he was left moaning on the sidewalk for an hour by
several hundred passersby, before someone finally helped him.

Cables cut

The TELEGRAAF reports that KLM's first flight to Douala has run into serious
trouble, because the airline is refusing to pay bribes to the local director
of the airport's baggage and passenger handling service Air Cameroon. When
the Boeing 767 landed in Douala, a truck had been placed on the air-strip,
the airport's computer-reservation cables had been cut, and KLM ground
personnel and cabin crew had to manually remove and reload the baggage and
the meals. The TELEGRAAF says KLM management has requested an explanation
from Cameroon's ambassador here in the Netherlands, and the airline says it
refuses to be intimidated.
(Marijke van der Meer)

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