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Coalition forces offer Iraq action footage

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - on YouTube

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The coalition forces' HQ in Baghdad has decided not to let the opposition keep on grabbing all the internet-video eyeballs, and has started its own channel on popular upload portal YouTube.

Called MNFIRAQ (Multi National Force Iraq), the channel pledges to offer "combat action" and "interaction between Coalition troops and the Iraqi populace", with the obvious message being that these are not always the same thing.

The HQ media types assure the web-vid connoisseur they will provide a "boots on the ground perspective", and will show the action "as it appeared to personnel on the ground and in the air as it was shot".

However, there won't be any "sexual content...overly graphic, disturbing or offensive material", or any "footage that mocks Coalition Forces, Iraqi Security Forces, or the citizens of Iraq". Which is probably fair enough considering this is the military's own channel.

But the MNF guys also say they won't allow any profanity; and here they must really have taken a step too far down the sanitisation route. The idea that you can show American (or any other troops) in combat without including any swearing is wildly unrealistic. It seems unlikely that grunts in the thick of the action will remember not to curse because the webcam is switched on. The headline clip on MNFIRAQ at the time of writing was "Battle on Haifa Street", but it mainly featured relatively calm snipers who managed not to let their enthusiasm get the better of them.

Unlike the infamous Juba, the US sniper-team cameramen refrained from showing any footage of the victims going down.

This kind of thing may not take the internet by storm. Still, the military PR footage seems mildly popular, with an apparent 190,000 channel views since March. ®

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