The Real War
These are spontaneous like the images from Abu Ghraib. It turns out that the US Government doesn't much like the practice and has issued orders hoping to bring it to a halt. In all likelihood those orders are futile; technology apparently has gotten the better of the administration's efforts to control what we are shown. The videos circulaating on the net are hardly the sanitized version of modern warfare and weaponry that the administration hopes to present. As the author of The Guardian report states:
"Images I have seen recently include a close up of a suicide bomber exploding in two, an insurgent being shot through the head by an American sniper, full scale firefights between US patrols and insurgents plus endless images of body parts scattered about in the aftermath of the latest bomb explosion.
This footage is often supported by a running commentary of "awesome" and suchlike from the cameraman who has literally strapped a digital camera onto his helmet or gun barrel and shot the video while he was shooting insurgents."
This sort of imagery raises a question. Should we be worried about the charges of voyeurism - and the moral revulsion trailing in their wake - that those like Sontag level? Or should we be asking whether the administration is correct to try to restrict such imagery because they fear it might lead us to realize that war actually destroys lives in extremely disgusting ways? (Leave aside the role of the largely supne mainstream media!) Should we allow our moral reaction to subvert our political response? are they really in as much tension as I suspect?
I actually suspect that what these videos demonstrate is not only that war tears apart those who are killed and physically maimed but that it transforms those who wage the war in extremely objecitonable ways. "Awesome!"
[Thanks to an anonymous commenter for bringing this story to my attention.]