Doing the rounds and checking Under the same sun I discovered that the authenticity of the story about Rumsfeld banning digital cameras ( which I got via the Newsinsider and which Under the same sun and Empire Notes got from me) has been questioned.
I realized yesterday after writing my previous post on the US vs. Holy Matrimony that the inspiration for the wedding party massacres might have come from Hollywood. How many readers have seen Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill'?
With all the sanctimony about marriage being a sacred thing, one would be justified in wondering why the US is so insistent on massacring wedding parties in the countries it occupies. For example, the latest massacre of over 40 people at a wedding party in Iraq, by way of an AC-130 Gunship.
The media will be full of stories of the beheading of Nick Berg. The implication is clear: we do horrific things to them, and they do horrific things to us, so it's all fine and even-handed and okay.
This is a question that's been puzzling me.
This morning, Rahul Mahajan's blog provided a link to the video footage of the helicopter pilots murdering helpless Iraqis from a distance with heavy machine guns. Rahul has also been scrupulous about republishing the photos of the abuse (don't call it torture, whatever you do) that have been coming out in the mainstream media.
Private Mercenary Company Seeks to fill Baghdad Interrogator Position
To be honest, I can't verify the authenticity of this, but I thought I'd blog it anyway. It looks real. Someone emailed it to me, and it definitely deserves linking. It might predate the recent scandals, but it does have the gruesome and macabre quality you've come to expect from this blog. Here's the ad. You can even submit your resume online. Some people are likely to be vacating these positions, so they might have some openings... I'll put some higlights in.
This comes from the New Yorker, via Empire Notes. Of course, torture of Iraqi prisoners is widespread, systematic, and committed by people following orders. What I want to comment on is where Rahul explains how North Americans will rationalize even this:
I went through the masochistic exercise of watching CNN, briefly, this morning. They were talking about how bad it would be for Americans when Iraqis learned of the abuse of prisoners by the Americans, the story that came out on 60 Minutes. Rahul Mahajan of Empire Notes has republished the photos of abuse. I think the photos say quite a lot. It's a good thing that our culture is so deeply racist that it forbids people from seeing the utterly obvious.
This will probably be a big story and hence unnecessary for me to blog, but I couldn't help but notice that part of the 'political solution' the US was seeking was to put a Saddam-era general in charge of Fallujah. Irony: yesterday in our Counterspin debate the one thing that the American Enterprise Institute columnist could say in defense of the murderous invasion and re-destruction of Iraq was that it removed Saddam.
I see a lot of writing calling Iraq a 'quagmire' and comparing it to Vietnam. I could be mistaken, but I detect almost a kind of smugness in the comparison, ie., people who think the US is going to get a come-uppance in Iraq the way it got such in Vietnam. I have to admit I dislike this, very strongly, for several reasons.